The Green Bay Packers will begin populating training camp this week, as the team’s rookies will report Friday before the club’s veterans show up on July 25. With Aaron Rodgers gone, the Packers are no longer considered among the NFC’s potentially elite teams, but they should still have a fighting chance within the NFC North. What moves should Green Bay consider in order to augment its roster before Week 1?
3 Final Moves for the Green Bay Packers
Consider Adding a Veteran Backup QB
Jordan Love will finally get his chance as the Packers’ starting QB after sitting behind Rodgers and attempting just 83 passes over his first three NFL seasons. But if Love were to suffer an injury in 2023, Green Bay doesn’t have many experienced options behind him.
Danny Etling, who spent the 2022 campaign on the Packers’ practice squad, took No. 2 reps behind Love during Green Bay’s offseason work. The Packers also selected Sean Clifford — a four-year starter at Penn State — in the fifth round of April’s draft and this week signed Alex McGough, who recently spent time in the USFL.
Career NFL pass attempts by Etling, Clifford, and McGough? Zero.
If Green Bay wants a more seasoned veteran behind Love, they could consider Carson Wentz, who hasn’t drawn any known interest since being released by the Commanders in March. The 30-year-old intends to play next season, but it’s worth wondering how he’d fare as a clear-cut backup, especially given that locker-room issues reportedly drove him out of Philadelphia and Indianapolis.
Teddy Bridgewater has never rocked the boat at any of his NFL stops and could also emerge as an option for the Packers. Unlike Wentz, Bridgewater has reportedly received inquiries from interested teams this year and had a contract offer from the Lions in hand. But he remains on the open market after starting two games in relief of Tua Tagovailoa with the Dolphins in 2022.
Green Bay probably doesn’t want to cut Clifford after using the 149th overall pick to land him, which could make a veteran addition untenable if the Packers only plan on keeping two quarterbacks. However, the NFL’s new third QB rule would allow Green Bay to keep Clifford inactive on game days.
Sign a Free Agent Safety
Although Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said in April that he wasn’t closing the door on re-signing Adrian Amos, the veteran safety landed with the Jets after Chuck Clark suffered a season-ending injury. Given that Amos’ one-year deal with New York is worth just $1.75 million, Green Bay apparently didn’t have any genuine interest in keeping him around.
Special-teams ace Rudy Ford now looks like the favorite to replace Amos in the Packers’ starting lineup opposite Darnell Savage Jr. From Weeks 10-16, Ford started every game and played significant snaps in Green Bay’s final two games. While Ford could face a training camp push from Tarvarius Moore or Jonathan Owens, his experience in the Packers’ system gives him the edge.
If Green Bay decides Ford should primarily stick to his special-teams role, they could consider signing a free agent like John Johnson III, who’s been available since being released by the Browns in March. Johnson wasn’t the same player in Cleveland that he was with the Rams, but he’s still on the right side of 30 and overlapped with Packers DC Joe Barry in Los Angeles.
Other veteran defensive backs like Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, and Lamarcus Joyner are also still available, but the Packers might not consider any of them an upgrade over Ford.
Bring Back Marcedes Lewis
The Packers hope they found two tight ends of the future when they selected Luke Musgrave (Round 2) and Tucker Kraft (Round 3) in this year’s draft. But it probably wouldn’t surprise anyone if Green Bay ultimately re-signs Marcedes Lewis for what would be his 18th NFL campaign.
The 39-year-old Lewis is essentially an extra offensive lineman at this point in his career. Last season, he ran 114 routes and earned just seven targets — although two of those looks ended up as touchdowns. As one of the NFL’s premier blocking tight ends, Lewis could help take pressure off Musgrave and Kraft as they navigate their first pro seasons.
In June, Lewis said that his agent had spoken with multiple clubs with interest in the aged wonder. The Raiders were reportedly eyeing Lewis in March, while he was also thought to be on Rodgers’ Jets wishlist. Lewis played on a $4 million salary with the Packers over the past two seasons and would likely return for a similar amount.