Georgia HC Offers Big Stetson Bennett Update, Says Los Angeles Rams QB Wants ‘Opportunity’ In NFL

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Stetson Bennett spent his rookie season away from the NFL, addressing issues in his personal life with support from the Los Angeles Rams. One year later, as he seemingly attempts a return, it appears Bennett might want that opportunity to come elsewhere.

Los Angeles was one of the highest teams on Bennett ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. While some viewed him as a late-round pick, head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead saw more potential in the two-time national champion. As a result, the Rams picked him with the 128th overall pick.

  • Stetson Bennett college stats: 65.1% completion rate, 160.9 QB rating, 8,429 passing yards, 9.1 yards per attempt, 66 passing touchdowns, 21 interceptions

Related: Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024

After earning some positive buzz in rookie minicamp and receiving some opportunities in training camp, Betson had his opportunity to prove himself during the regular season. Los Angeles kept its backup quarterback spot open, but the rookie’s struggles in the preseason pushed him down the depth chart.

  • Stetson Bennett NFL stats (preseason): 36-of-62 (58.1 percent completion rate), 347 passing yards, 5.6 yards per attempt, 1 passing touchdown, 3 interceptions, 4 sacks

In September, Bennett stepped away from the team and was placed on the non-football illness list. McVay didn’t provide details, only stating that “there are certain things that I think are a little bit bigger and more important.” After being placed on the non-football illness list, Bennett spent the entire 2023 season out of the public eye.

However, during a recent appearance at the Macon Touchdown Club, Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart announced that his former quarterback is “doing well” and was in Dallas working with Patrick Mahomes’ trainer to prepare for the 2024 season. Notably, the Bulldogs’ coach said that Bennett is looking for an opportunity, either with Los Angeles or elsewhere.

Related: Los Angeles Rams QB Stetson Bennett takes step toward return

“Stetson is doing well. He went back to Dallas to train where he trained last year. He trained with Patrick Mahomes’ trainer and some different people there. So he wanted to go back to that same footprint where he was training previously. The Rams still have him there. They have gotten other quarterbacks, but he’s hopeful that he gets an opportunity there or he’ll get picked up by somebody else.”

Georgia Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart on Los Angeles Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett

Will Stetson Bennett play in 2024?

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett
Aug 26, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) passes in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking to reporters in January, McVay made it clear that the team was uncertain if Bennett would return to the NFL. The quarterback’s murky future and the issues that led to him stepping away from the NFL for a year are why Los Angeles signed Jimmy Garoppolo to serve as Matt Stafford’s backup next season.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft quarterback rankings

While Bennett seems ready to make an NFL return in 2024, it’s difficult to find a path toward that happening. He did struggle in the preseason and after a year away from football, Bennett is now nearly two seasons removed from being a starting quarterback in college. He will also be turning 27 years old in October, raising further questions about his long-term upside and how much interest there would be in him.

The Rams’ organization did provide whatever support Bennett needed during his time away in 2023. Given the quarterback’s desire to have an “opportunity” in the NFL, it’s reasonable to wonder if he is vying to be a starter or a backup next season. Even if Bennett is willing to be a backup quarterback, the depth of the 2024 NFL Draft class at that position and the number of quarterbacks traded and signed this offseason suggests there might not be the kind of opportunity he’s seeking in the NFL.