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DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on after handing off the ball in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Broncos kept “options open” with Rodgers by not drafting QB

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Denver passed on drafting Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields with the ninth-overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night, much to the chagrin of many in Broncos Country.

But the Broncos may have been keeping their “options open” in case reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers becomes available via trade, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday.

“We can’t ignore the fact that the Denver Broncos were on the clock, (and) Justin Fields was there. They did not take a quarterback. They kept their options open,” Rapoport said.

Instead, the Broncos opted to draft Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II with their top pick.

“As of now, Green Bay doesn’t seem to have returned any phone calls and given zero inclination that Rodgers would be traded. But at some point decisions have to be made,” Rapoport said. “It does seem like the Broncos kept their options open at quarterback in case.”

Rapoport also said that his understanding is Denver is a “potential preferred” destination for Rodgers if the situation in Green Bay is not resolved.

On Thursday, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers is “so disgruntled with the Green Bay Packers that he has told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team.”

“I would say there are lines being drawn in the sand every day, every news report,” Rapoport said Saturday.