One of the Green Bay Packers’ former backups behind star quarterback Aaron Rodgers is back on the free-agent market.
During August 31’s cutdown rush, the Indianapolis Colts released seventh-year veteran Brett Hundley in favor of backup quarterbacks Jacob Eason and Sam Ehlinger. While the latter sustained a knee injury in the Colts’ preseason finale and Carson Wentz underwent foot surgery at the beginning of August, Hundley proved to be the inferior of the four quarterbacks and will now look to latch on with his fifth NFL team.
Hundley played the entire second half of the Colts’ final preseason game against the Detroit Lions on August 28 but didn’t exactly impress during his time on the field. While he went 6-of-12 passing for 52 yards and scrambled six times for 30 yards, his first passing attempt was picked off at the Colts’ 36-yard line and set the Lions up for a field goal. Hundley did steady, however, and find Deon Jackson for a 3-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter.
Hundley’s level of experience qualifies him as a vested NFL veteran, meaning he is not subject to waivers and immediately becomes a free agent.
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Hundley-McCarthy Reunion in Dallas?
Hundley is currently out of a job, but it is possible he won’t stay that way for long considering Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys are looking for a new backup behind Dak Prescott.
The vast majority of Hundley’s playing experience has come in McCarthy’s offensive system, taking 645 of his 685 snaps while with the Packers despite later stops in Seattle (2018) and Arizona (2019-20). McCarthy also got the chance to see Hundley start nine games for the Packers during the 2017 season after Rodgers broke his collarbone in Week 6; though, the results were pretty underwhelming.
Hundley went 3-6 as the Packers’ stand-in starting quarterback, completing 60.8% of his passes (192 of 316) for 1,836 yards, nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also averaged 7.6 yards on 36 rushing attempts, showing off a bit of his dual-threat capabilities as a passer. Those aren’t exactly numbers that will entice a team desperate to find a new backup quarterback, but Hundley already worked out with Dallas once this year and could get the benefit of the doubt from the Cowboys given McCarthy’s familiarity with him.
It is worth noting, however, that NFL insider Josina Anderson reported Tuesday that the Cowboys are planning to do their “due diligence” when it comes to former NFL MVP Cam Newton, who was released from the New England Patriots during 53-man roster cuts.
What Will Happen to Kurt Benkert?
Another Packers backup quarterback, Kurt Benkert, was shown the door during Tuesday’s cutdown deadline, but his circumstances are much different from Hundley’s. Benkert had been the Packers’ third-string quarterback over the past several months, outlasting veteran Blake Bortles and Jake Dolegala in offseason competition and getting an opportunity to play significant reps during the preseason.
All in all, Benkert finished the 2021 preseason 33-of-48 passing for 300 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, which is notable enough that it could earn him some interest on the waiver wire. The Packers may also attempt to retain Benkert for their practice squad if another team doesn’t scoop up him in the next 24 hours. They carried three quarterbacks under special circumstances through the 2020 season, but it isn’t uncommon for Green Bay to house another quarterback on their practice squad, as they did with Manny Wilkins in 2019.
Teams will be eligible to claim players off the waivers until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 1. After the deadline, those players can be signed to practice squads.