When do the Green Bay Packers start looking for a quarterback?


Aaron Rodgers will be locked up with a new contract for the next 10 years, but he won’t be quarterback forever. When do the Packers start looking for a successor?

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

You might think that the furthest thing from Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson is drafting or trading for a quarterback.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Graham Harrell (6) hands the ball off to running back James Starks (44) during the second half of a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

But consider the options the Packers have at the position behind all-world Aaron Rodgers: Graham (I-can’t-hand-off-without-fumbling-from-the-1 yard-line) Harrell and B.J. (I trained with Brett Favre, but am destined for the practice squad) Coleman.

If Rodgers goes down with an injury in 2013, just like last year, the Packers are going to be in a tough spot. In fact, you may as well dial up a step backward and start looking forward to the offseason’s draft.

The Packers have been incredibly fortunate for the past two decades. Since 1992, the franchise has had three quarterbacks who have started games (if you include Matt Flynn), and it looks like Aaron Rodgers is going to sign up for at least another 8-10 years with the team. That would make it nearly 30 straight years with two quarterbacks under center for the same franchise.

Unprecedented to say the least.

Since 1992, the Chicago Bears have fielded 46 different quarterbacks, including now-San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

But all it takes is one backside hit from Jared Allen, one stomp by Ndamukong Suh, and Rodgers could be lost for a game, a month, a season, or his entire career. We all know how fleeting an NFL career can be.

So, does that mean that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy should be worried? They should if they don’t do something about their offensive line. Being sacked 52 times in 2012 was unnerving for every Packers fan and coach.

But does it mean that the Packers go out and draft or trade for a quarterback who could step in and take the reins from Rodgers? Last year, the Packers drafted Coleman knowing full well that he would be a project. Because we feel Thompson won’t be drafting a quarterback again this year, the competition for backup will be played out in preseason between Coleman and Harrell. With the initial advantage going to Harrell, maybe Coleman can push him. We’ll see on that count.

Aaron Rodgers hopes to be throwing passes around Lambeau Field for at least the next 8-10 years.

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

So the question is that after the Packers lock up Rodgers with a lifetime contract in the next month, the Packers will have to start looking at bringing in another quarterback, much like they brought in Rodgers when it was clear that Favre had at least another three or four seasons left.

It’s never a bad thing to pick up a quarterback … at any time … even when your franchise quarterback signs a long-term, multi-million dollar deal.

Unless it’s through a trade (very unlikely) or the draft (highly unlikely), the only way Thompson might bring in another QB this offseason is via an undrafted free agent. We all know how many of those stick with a team. Sans Kurt Warner, the likelihood of someone making the Packers that way are next to nil.

However, looking down the road, the Packers scouts should continue scouring the land for the next Favre or Rodgers.

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