Broncos GM George Paton Says 'We Like' Our QBs Amid Aaron Rodgers Trade Rumors

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers gestures to fans after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers defeated the Rams 32-18 to advance to the NFC championship game. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Matt Ludtke/Associated Press

Denver Broncos general manager George Paton lauded the team's quarterbacks, Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, after rumors linked the franchise to a potential trade for Green Bay Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers

"Drew's been working hard every day," Paton told reporters Thursday after the first round of the 2021 NFL draft. "Teddy's going to bring some experience to the room, some leadership. So we're really excited for both quarterbacks. We're always looking at every position and quarterback's another one, but we like the two we have."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Rodgers had "told some within the organization that he does not want to return" to the Packers, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted the reigning NFL MVP had the Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers on his "wish list."

The rumors became pretty intense leading up to the start of the draft, with former Broncos guard and current 104.3 The Fan radio host Mark Schlereth reporting Rodgers to Denver was "close to a done deal," but the speculation faded throughout the night.

First, the Broncos used the ninth overall pick, which would have likely been one of the centerpieces to a Rodgers trade, to select Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. Then Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst downplayed the potential of a blockbuster deal.

"We're not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," Gutekunst told reporters. "He's our quarterback. He's our leader. We've been working through for a little while now. It may take some time. He's the guy that makes this thing go. He gives us the best chance to win. We're going to work towards that end."

He added: "I do think he'll play for us again. We're going to work towards that, and we've been working towards that on a number of different fronts."

While Paton was quick to affirm his belief in the Broncos' current quarterback depth chart, the reality is quite simple: If a trade for Rodgers is plausible, the presence of Lock and Bridgewater isn't going to stop the front office from trying to pull off the deal.

Denver has a lot of emerging talent on offense, including wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler along with tight end Noah Fant, and bringing in one of the league's best quarterbacks could transform the unit into one of the NFL's most high-scoring groups.

It sounds like the Packers are going to spend the remainder of the offseason trying to mend their relationship with Rodgers. If those efforts fall through, however, expect Denver near the front of the line should the future Hall of Famer become available during training camp.

Should a Rodgers deal never come to fruition, the Broncos can let Lock and Bridgewater compete for the starting job in 2021 before evaluating the future of the position once again next year.