Green Bay Packers: Who is the long-term backup QB answer?


Scott Tolzien … is he the long-term asnwer for the Green Bay Packers?

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

As the Green Bay Packers sit in March, they have three quarterbacks – Aaron Rodgers and his backups, Scott Tolzien and ol’ trusty Matt Flynn.

In retrospect, we can all look back on the 2013 season and grimace. We remember the joke that was preseason when the QB revolving door was spinning like a top.

Who were those guys?

Graham Harrell … no, not the answer.

B.J. Coleman … who?

Vince Young … washed up.

Seneca Wallace … one and done man.

Scott Tolzien … promising, but not ready.

Matt Flynn

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Matt Flynn … clearly a stopgap, but like Harrell – not the answer.

With Wallace a free agent and the likelihood that the Packers signing him sitting at nil, the Packers must also consider Matt Flynn. Should they stay with the status quo, sign him on the cheap and move into 2014 with Tolzien and Flynn battling for the backup spot?

Or do the Packers look outside – to free agency for a quarterback who might fit the system? Do they look to the NFL Draft for the future?

If they go the free agency route, do they try to find someone with experience who could step in if and when Aaron Rodgers goes down to a future injury? Lord knows we don’t want to go through another six weeks of a season when the team is just plain bad like they showed during 2013s November and early December.

So, let’s take a closer look at the free agents who are available. According to (subscription required), Flynn is ranked 20th out of the 23 free agent QBs on the market. Ranked just above him is Matt Cassell, who was just re-signed by the Minnesota Vikings, and Josh Freeman, who is trying to find his way out of Minnesota.

Leading the way as the top QB free agent is Josh McCown, who might end up back in Chicago. But there are plenty of others … some with decent pasts, some without. We see guys like Tarvaris JacksonBrady QuinnDavid GarrardJon KitnaRex GrossmanColt McCoyShaun HillMichael VickKellen Clemens, and Chad Henne.

Not exactly the A-list, right?

Ted Thompson, we’re hoping, sees it that way, too, and won’t go out of his way to bring any one of those guys to Green Bay. First off, none of them would fit the Mike McCarthy system, and secondly, none of them would fit the Mike McCarthy system.

So, forget free agency.

But what about the NFL Draft? Is it time for the Packers to reach into their “draft and develop” bag of tricks to find another Aaron Rodgers?

Aaron Rodgers

Raymond T. Rivard photograph

We all know about the top-ranked college quarterbacks in this year’s draft and how they will most likely be gone in the top 10 to 20 picks. But what if draft day comes along and there’s a shift in those top picks and quarterbacks begin to drop into the late first and into the second round? We’ve seen it happen before

What if a guy like a guy like Zach Mettenberger out of LSU is still on the board for the Packers in the second or third round? What about someone like Jimmy Garoppolo? What about a guys like A.J. McCarron, Logan Thomas, David Fales, or Stephen Morris are still on the board at any time during the middle to late rounds?

Mike McCarthy said himself that they like drafting quarterbacks and though the Packers haven’t had a whole lot of success doing so over the past few years, maybe it’s time Thompson struck gold once again.

Aaron Rodgers will not be around forever and we know the nature of this violent game. A single hit could make Rodgers a memory.

The Packers have to be prepared and we know that Flynn came to the rescue to help salvage a brutal 2013 season, but we also know he’s not the long-term answer. Could Tolzien step into that role? Possibly.

But should the Packers be presented with the opportunity to draft one of the quarterbacks from a pretty decent draft, Thompson shouldn’t hesitate.

The future starts now and this Packers team needs help not only filling immediate needs, but they need some long-term answers. Quarterback is the most important position on the team and the Packers have to be prepared for the inevitable.