The Green Bay Packers are dominating the offseason headlines due to the recent quarterback drama. Only expected when you have news regarding the league’s Best Of All Time. We’re talking about Blake Bortles, of course.
Jokes aside, the Packers signed former No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles to a one-year deal. The signing comes shortly after Matt LaFleur and Brian Gutekunst mentioned a need to bring in veteran quarterbacks for camp. At the time, the Packers had only Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love, and we all know Rodgers’ place on the team is currently tenuous.
Regardless of quarterback drama news, Blake Bortles is a fantastic veteran addition and makes sense regardless of who starts in 2021.
Bortles may not have lived up to the hype when drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014, but he’s a five-year starter with experience in big games. Jacksonville may have had the first-overall pick in 2021, but the team made the AFC Championship in 2017 with Bortles as a starter.
Most of that was the team’s dominant defense that season, but Bortles played his best season that year. Who was his offensive coordinator? Nathaniel Hackett, current OC of the Green Bay Packers. Bortles is reconnecting with his former OC in Green Bay, and the pairing makes sense.
After his release in Jacksonville, Bortles wound up in Los Angeles, backing up Jared Goff for Rams’ head coach Sean McVay. McVay and Packers head coach Matt LaFleur worked together for years in the Shanahan system and remain close friends. With the McVay and LaFleur systems being similar, that means Bortles is familiar with the language and nuances of the system.
So Blake Bortles has a relationship with the Packers offensive coordinator and familiarity with their offense. As far as veteran backups go, a team can’t ask for more.
In addition, the Bortles signing makes sense no matter how the QB drama in Green Bay plays out.
If Aaron Rodgers is soothed and comes back to play for the Packers, Bortles is a reliable backup option with no threat of taking over as a starter. Should Rodgers get hurt and Love not be deemed ready, Bortles can work the offense. The Shanahan system makes life easy on its QBs, and the Packers have a strong enough roster to bolster Bortles if needed.
If Rodgers leaves and Jordan Love takes the helm, Bortles is a knowledgeable veteran with experience in the offense. He’d be an ideal mentor backup quarterback while proving insurance if Love is hurt or plays poorly.
In either case, he provides depth but won’t be asked to be a starter unless absolutely necessary.
As an aside, Bortles is just an easy guy to root for. His blue-collar demeanor, accessibility, and relatable interests (including Taco Bell and Charizard) make him the type of player you want to see succeed. The references made to him on The Good Place further add to his charm and legacy. By all accounts a personable fellow and a good locker room presence, he can be a locker room comrade for Aaron Rodgers or a mentor to Jordan Love easily.
Blake Bortles might not be the sexiest addition (to you, maybe) but his familiarity with the offense, the coaches, and his logical place on the team regardless of starting quarterback make this an exciting addition.Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.