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Packers sign QB Blake Bortles, per report

The Packers are adding another quarterback, this time a former first round pick.

Green Bay Packers v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst is still adding quarterbacks. The Packers will sign free agent quarterback Blake Bortles, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Bortles, now 29, was the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and played five largely unsuccessful seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2017, his best statistical season, he completed just over 60% of his passes for 3,687 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Notably, the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator that season was Nathaniel Hackett, who now holds the same position with the Green Bay Packers.

Bortles spent the 2019 season with the Los Angeles Rams and later returned to the Rams after a short stint with the Denver Broncos in 2020.

Many had connected the dots between Bortles and the Packers prior to the signing. Under Sean McVay, the Rams run a similar offensive system to the Packers, giving Bortles some nominal familiarity with what the Packers should be putting on the field. That comes in addition to his familiarity with Hackett and with former Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis.

It’s tough to dismiss the idea entirely, but the Bortles signing shouldn’t be primarily linked to Aaron Rodgers’ apparent discontent in Green Bay. Regardless of Rodgers’ feelings toward the team, the Packers were short on arm talent after letting Tim Boyle leave for Detroit, and it’s likely they wanted a higher quality passer than Kurt Benkert and Chad Kelly, the two quarterbacks in town for this weekend’s minicamp, could provide. Look for the Packers to keep one of the two quarterbacks from this weekend’s camp on the roster in addition to Bortles and Jordan Love while they continue to pursue a solution to Rodgers’ disgruntlement.