Let’s be clear, nobody on the planet is truly capable of replacing Aaron Rodgers for Green Bay. His knowledge and experience will be missed no matter who is under center as he recovers from a broken collarbone suffered in the first quarter of Sunday’s game at Minnesota.
The Packers may have lost the game, but at 4-2, there is no reason for the team to just lay down and quit on the season. Brett Hundley will begin taking first team snaps in practice and is currently in line to start next Sunday when Green Bay squares up against New Orleans at Lambeau. Hundley looked shaky in his first meaningful NFL action, albeit against a stifling defense in a rowdy road environment.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that Brett Hundley would be the new starter, with Joe Callahan moving up to second string going forwards, but if Green Bay decides to look for a more experienced option to try to save their season, there are some intriguing options.
There is no avoiding it, Kaepernick’s name is going to come up any time any starting QB gets banged up in this league, as long as he is a free agent. Now six weeks into the NFL season, it is beginning to seem like Kaepernick will never get signed – at least not this year, but Green Bay could make sense. Kaepernick is just 29 years old and has never had any real injury concerns. He is smart with the ball and can manage the game while letting Green Bay’s receiving weapons make plays. With 72 touchdowns to just 30 interceptions in his career, combined with his constant threat to escape the pocket and make plays with his legs, Kaepernick just could be the hero the Packers need to stay competitive in the NFC North. Controversies aside, there is no denying his talents.
Romo grew up in Wisconsin, and everybody knows he is still very capable of playing at the highest level. After all the anticipation of seeing where he would end up this offseason following his demotion in Dallas in favor of rookie sensation Dak Prescott, Romo made a shocking career choice and retired to enter NFL broadcasting. Working with CBS, Romo’s enthusiasm and passion for the game shows with each play. During Thursday’s Eagles and Panthers clash, Romo’s last throw of his career was brought up. The pass went for a touchdown, but Romo hinted at his desire to play again someday, laughing as he questioned: “was it the last pass?” If Romo were to sign with Green Bay, it’s likely he would need some time to get back into the swing of things, but with the Packers bye week coming after they play the Saints, it could be the perfect situation for Romo to sign on with the Pack. He could get some practice reps, and lead Green Bay to battle for the rest of the year.
Robert Griffin III
The former Heisman trophy winner has had a rollercoaster of a career since his magical rookie season with Washington back in 2012. Injuries have plagued him all too often, and that is likely a reason that he remains a free agent. However, playing for the Browns last year Griffin made early waves in the locker room. He was voted a team captain despite it being his first year with the team, and showed his commitment to perfecting his craft learning a brand new playbook quickly enroute to earning the starting job. His arm has never really been questioned, nor has his mobility. All that goes out the window when he can’t get through a season healthy though. Having spent so long away from the game now, perhaps RG3’s health could be good enough to come to Green Bay and show the world that at 27 years old, he is not ready to give up on football.
The market for quarterbacks in the NFL is a small one. Not many athletes in this world have what it takes to play professional football, and quarterback is the toughest position to perfect. For the most part, if you are a good enough QB to bring good things to a team, you will have a spot on someone’s roster. For Kaepernick, people blame his protests, with Romo, he is technically retired and “off the market” (*cough* Jay Cutler? *cough*), and with Griffin, his durability makes him a risky signing… But outside of these three options, there aren’t many, if any, talented enough QB’s available to make a major difference for the Packers.
Brett Hundley looked great all preseason, and expecting him to come in against the Vikings and pull off a victory is a bit much. If the Ted Thompson and company decide not to make any signings, don’t be shocked. Hundley knows the playbook better than anyone other than #12 and giving him a chance might be the best fit for Green Bay. Matt Flynn did it a few times over the years and played well, so who is to say Hundley can’t do something similar? Only one thing is certain about the quarterback situation for the Packers, and that is that no matter who fills in under center, nobody will truly fill the void that losing Aaron Rodgers has created.