At best, the Green Bay Packers quarterback situation is shaky. Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers has reportedly told teammates he no longer wants to play for the team, although he hasn’t spoken publicly on the situation. The team has already signed veteran Blake Bortles and newcomer Kurt Benkert to fill out the depth chart at quarterback. As soon as Benkert signed on the dotted line, he won over the hearts of Packers fans with his first question.
Who is Kurt Benkert?
Kurt Benkert is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback who played his college football at Virginia. He began his college career at East Carolina and was slated to be the team’s starter in 2015. Prior to the season, he tore his ACL and missed the year. He transferred to Virginia for the 2016 season and was named the starter in his first year.
In 11 games in 2016, Benkert threw 21 touchdown passes and completed 56.2% of his passes. He was intercepted 11 times. He bounced back with another strong season as a senior, tossing 25 touchdowns against nine picks. Benkert set a school record for passing yards in a game with 455 in a win over UConn.
Benkert went undrafted but did sign with the Atlanta Falcons in May of 2018. He was cut prior to the season but hooked on with the practice squad. He spent most of the 2020 season on the Falcons’ practice squad. The Packers signed him last weekend after a minicamp tryout.
Benkert joins the Packers in the middle of a mess
The Packers find themselves in a tough spot. Maybe they put themselves there. Maybe Rodgers put them there. Either way, they head into the 2021 season not knowing whether their MVP quarterback will be taking the snaps from center.
Rodgers is in a dispute with the team, but it’s unknown exactly what the root of the problem is. Speculation is he’s upset with the front office over the team trading up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.
It’s also been rumored he’s not happy with his contract situation, specifically the lack of guaranteed money. Rodgers still has three years remaining and knows if he struggles, the team can cut him and turn to Love. Clearly, the team is better with Rodgers, but for now, it’s Love, Bortles, and Benkert.
His first question shows his Packers loyalty
The Packers signed Benkert on Saturday. He’s not the immediate answer if Rodgers doesn’t return to the team, and he doesn’t pretend to be. He’s a free spirit and ecstatic to get another crack at the NFL after his brief stint with the Falcons.
Benkert’s been rejected before in his quest to make an NFL roster, but he keeps pursuing that dream. “Don’t let the limits other people set for you become the limits you set for yourself,” he wrote on Twitter. He’s a long shot to be on the Packers roster on opening day, especially if Rodgers returns to the club. That’s not stopping him. “The best advice I can give anyone is to believe in yourself,” is another tweet he posted after signing his new deal.
When the deal was signed, he endeared himself to Packers fans by asking one question on social media. It wasn’t about the Rodgers situation, nor was it team-related. He just knew the right question to ask. “Where can I get a cheese head for an 8 month old?,” he wrote on Twitter. Consider Benkert a fan favorite now.