Packers Predicted to Sign Former All-Pro Quarterback, Top 5 Pick

Getty Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers.

Even though the Green Bay Packers drafted a quarterback, Sean Clifford, to play behind Jordan Love, the team could still use an experienced veteran as another backup.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote that the Packers shouldn’t just settle on Clifford, a fifth-round pick out of Penn State, as their QB2 and should consider signing 30-year-old Carson Wentz to a one-year deal.

“The issues with Wentz aren’t going away — he’s stubborn under center, extends plays to the point of creating mistakes and has struggled to stay healthy — but there has to be a point where his general NFL success appeals to contenders,” Barnwell wrote in a story published May 16.

Barnwell cited last year’s San Francisco 49ers as reason enough to have insurance for Love.

“Jordan Love is taking over as their new starter,” he wrote. “[But] as we saw with Trey Lance a year ago, it takes only one hit for a succession plan to go awry in September.”

Lance was the starter for the 49ers heading into 2022, but he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2. His backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, went down on December 4 and the 49ers had to rely on a rookie, Brock Purdy.

Is Carson Wentz Ready to Be a Backup?

After a promising start to his NFL career, things went downhill quickly for Wentz, and it may be time for him to embrace a backup role if he wants to keep playing in the NFL.

According to a March tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Wentz is “determined to continue playing and is open to various roles that can help a team.”

He was the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and almost immediately became a star for the franchise. He was well on his way to an MVP award in just his second season in 2017, but a torn ACL prevented him from finishing out a storybook season that ended with a Super Bowl championship, thanks to the heroic efforts of backup Nick Foles. Wentz still finished third in MVP voting, was named second-team All-Pro and received his only invitation to the Pro Bowl that season.

Upon returning, Wentz was never the same under center. Struggles in Philadelphia led to his being traded to the Indianapolis Colts, where he lasted just one season with the franchise before being traded back to the NFC East in a deal with the Washington Commanders.

Washington cut Wentz in the middle of a $128 million extension. In his career, he has 151 touchdown passes against 66 interceptions.

Can Sean Clifford Be a Reliable Backup QB?

If the Packers opt not to sign a veteran backup quarterback, the pressure would be on Clifford to serve as Love’s primary backup.

He was a three-star recruit coming out of high school in Cincinnati before committing to Penn State in 2017. After two seasons on the bench, Clifford took over as the starting QB for the Nittany Lions and 2019, and held that starting job for the next four seasons.

Over that span, Clifford helped lead Penn State to a 32-14 record as a starter despite inconsistent performances. He completed 61.4 percent of his passes over his college career, throwing for 10,661 yards, 86 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions.

Given his deficiencies as a pro prospect, Clifford was the 423rd prospect on the consensus big board heading into the 2023 NFL draft. Despite that, the Packers had brought the Penn State quarterback in for a top-30 visit prior to the draft, and liked him enough to take a chance on him in the fifth round.

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