Packers Backup Quarterback Retires After 8 Seasons

Getty Former Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Blake Bortles has called it a career.

The Green Bay Packers have had some notable backup quarterbacks during the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers eras, including Matt Hasselbeck, Doug Pederson and Matt Flynn. One of Rodgers’ recent backups has decided to call it a career after waiting for teams to call this offseason.

Appearing on the October 6 episode of the popular podcast “Pardon My Take,” former Packers backup and longtime Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles announced his retirement. ESPN’s Field Yates shared the news via Twitter.

Bortles spent time on the Packers’ active roster and practice squad during the 2021 season. After being released during training camp cuts, Bortles was brought back for the team’s Week 9 game against the Kansas City Chiefs to be Jordan Love’s backup while Aaron Rodgers sat out with COVID-19.

Love is still Rodgers’ primary backup, with journeyman backup Danny Etling currently on the team’s practice squad.

Remembering Blake Bortles’ NFL Career

Some cynical fans will remember Bortles, 30, as a draft bust, but considering the situation he was put in and the success he brought the Jaguars franchise, he had a fascinating career.

The Jaguars took Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 draft and served as the team’s starting QB for five seasons. His peak came in 2017, when he helped lead the Jaguars all the way to the AFC Championship game before falling to the New England Patriots in a spirited comeback. He had a record of 24-49 in Jacksonville, throwing for 17,646 yards and 103 touchdowns against 75 interceptions.

After leaving Jacksonville, Bortles served as a backup for the Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos, the Packers and the New Orleans Saints over the last three seasons. With no teams signing him this year, Bortles decided it was time to retire.

Coming out of Oviedo High School in Florida, Bortles was an unknown commodity in the 2010 recruiting class. He received interest from schools like Colorado State and Purdue, but the only school to give him an FBS offer was Central Florida, where he decided to enroll.

After redshirting his first year and serving as the backup as a redshirt freshman, Bortles took over as the starting QB for UCF in 2012. His two seasons as the starter helped put the Knights on the map, throwing for more than 6,600 yards, 50 touchdowns and just 16 interceptions. In his final college season, Bortles led the Knights to a 12-1 record with an upset win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl to give UCF its first major bowl title in program history.

Could a Packers Favorite Be Retiring Soon?

An aging fan favorite currently on the roster could be hanging up his cleats after this season.

Randall Cobb is 32 years old, and while that’s not ancient for a wideout, injuries have kept the veteran sidelined more than he’d like over the past few seasons. Even if he stays healthy this year, Cobb is on the final year of his contract, and if the Packers don’t want to bring him back, that could play a factor in his decision.

Analysts are already considering replacements for Cobb in the slot for 2023. However, in all likelihood, Cobb will remain in Green Bay as long as Rodgers is the quarterback, presumably so they can retire together.

Read More