Packers Host Former 4th-Round QB for Roster Tryout: Report

Morgan Packers Workout

Getty James Morgan #4 of the New York Jets passes the football in the second half during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 21, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The Green Bay Packers could be looking to add a few more skill-position players to their roster as they progress through the first week of 2022 training camp.

According to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the Packers worked out third-year quarterback James Morgan and wide receiver Ishmael Hyman during Wednesday’s first public training-camp practice. The team also released undrafted rookie linebacker Caliph Brice on July 27, clearing one spot on their 90-man roster.

Morgan — a Green Bay native — was a fourth-round pick for the New York Jets in the 2020 NFL draft, the same year the Packers traded up to get first-rounder Jordan Love. He threw for 5,312 yards and 40 touchdowns over his final two collegiate seasons for Florida International, but he has yet to play a regular-season snap in the NFL. In addition to the Jets, he has also spent time on either the offseason rosters or practice squads of the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.

Morgan is the second quarterback the team has brought in for a roster tryout in the past three days, potentially signaling they are interested in adding another camp arm to compete for the QB3 job with Danny Etling. On Monday, they also hosted another third-year quarterback, Nate Stanley, who was recently waived from Minnesota’s roster.

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Morgan Could Push Etling for QB3 Job

The Packers made a somewhat unexpected decision back in June when they opted to release third-string quarterback Kurt Benkert following the end of offseason workouts. The 27-year-old quarterback had spent the entire 2021 season with the team as their reserve option at the position after winning the role during last year’s offseason, but with Aaron Rodgers extended and Jordan Love only heading into the third year of his rookie contract, there was no room for Benkert to legitimately compete for a roster spot.

Still, the Packers will want to find another third-stringer for the 2022 season in the event that something happens with either Rodgers or Love. They have Etling — who briefly joined their practice squad in 2021 while Rodgers was out with COVID-19 — but finding a fourth quarterback to challenge him for the job seems only natural given how little playing experience Etling has at the NFL level.

Etling has been a bit of a journeyman throughout his pro career, beginning in New England as a seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft but later spending time in Atlanta, Seattle, Minnesota, Denver and Jacksonville in addition to Green Bay. During his first four seasons, though, he only made the active roster once — for three days — with Atlanta during the 2019 season. Even for a QB3, that’s not much to go on.

Looking at Etling’s and Morgan’s respective histories in the preseason, the two quarterbacks are pretty comparable aside from the fact that Etling has played two full preseasons instead of one like Morgan. In Morgan’s defense, his rookie season did not have a preseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he showed potential when he finally get a chance to sling it for the Jets in 2021.

In five preseason games between 2018 and ’19, Etling completed 37 of his 69 passes (53.6%) for 371 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for a touchdown and a whooping 235 rushing yards on 10 carries but fumbled the ball twice. Morgan was similarly efficient as a passer in three exhibition games for the Jets in 2021, completing 19 of his 35 passes (54.3%) on 37 dropbacks with two touchdowns and one pick; although, he is less traveled on his legs with a career minus-13 rushing yards in the preseason with one fumble.


Hyman Has Experience as Punt Returner

Hyman has struggled to make it as a receiver since coming out of college, going unselected in the 2018 NFL draft and getting no opportunities as a UDFA signing. He has gone through offseason programs and training camp with both the Cleveland Browns (2019) and Carolina Panthers (2020) and even earned a few practice-squad opportunities with both teams as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — who promoted him to the active roster in 2019 and saw him catch two passes over two games.

The Packers don’t have much use for another depth receiver, though, with 11 of them currently signed to their 90-man roster. Instead, Hyman might be a better fit as a punt returner given that’s what he was doing earlier this year in the USFL for the Michigan Panthers. While he caught 15 of his 22 targets for 158 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game, he also returned seven punts for an average of 11.1 yards per return over just four games. He also broke loose for a seasonlong return of 35 yards.

Update (July 27 at 6:16 p.m. ET): According to OTG Sports Management’s Instagram story, the Packers signed Hyman to their 90-man roster on Wednesday evening.

 

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