In my last Packer power ranking of the offseason, I wanted to look at the most important position in the NFL, or arguably any sport, quarterback. The Packers have been incredibly fortunate to have the kind of consistency they have had at quarterback for the past 20 years, but they did get a taste of what life would be like without an elite quarterback, when Aaron Rodgers missed time with an injury last season.
There is no doubt who the Packers’ starting quarterback is, but the battle for the backup job could be an interesting one to watch this offseason, with the experienced Matt Flynn trying to hold off the younger, but more physically gifted Scott Tolzien.
The Packers currently have 4 quarterbacks on their roster and I have put them into one of the following categories.
Impact Players – A potential Pro Bowler who opposing teams need to game plan for.
Solid Starters – An average to slightly above average starter.
Quality Backup/Role Players – A player who can start if needed and may also contribute on special teams. These players may also have some upside and untapped potential.
Not Guaranteed a Roster Spot – A player who may be fighting to make the final 53 man roster or the practice squad.
Here is how I currently rank the Packers’ quarterbacks
- Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers will be entering 10th season in the league, and his 7th as the Packers’ starter. In that time, Rodgers has developed into one of the best quarterbacks in the league, winning MVP in 2011, and leading the Packers to a victory in Super Bowl XLV, where he was awarded Super Bowl MVP. When he injured his collar bone in week 9 last season, it was a stark reminder of how important Rodgers is to this team. After going 5-2 to start the season, the Packers went 2-5-1 in the 8 weeks without Rodgers. I fully expect a healthy Rodgers to lead the Packers to another playoff berth this season, and he should once again be in the conversation for league MVP.
Solid Starters – None
Quality Backup/Role Players
- Matt Flynn – a few years ago, Flynn parlayed a couple good games with the Packers into a lucrative free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was expected to be their starting quarterback. Unfortunately for Flynn, that same year the Seahawks drafted Russell Wilson, who was able to beat him out for the starting job. After losing out on the starting job in Seattle, Flynn spent time in both Oakland and Buffalo before re-signing with Packers, who were in need of a quarterback after Rodgers’ collarbone injury. Flynn went on to lead the Packers to a season saving comeback win against the Cowboys, as well as a tie against the Vikings. This offseason the Packers re-signed Flynn to a one year deal to be Rodgers backup, a job he seems ideally suited for.
Not Guaranteed a Roster Spot
- Scott Tolzien – Tolzien is the biggest question mark at the quarterback position. In his short time with the Packers, Tolzien showed he has a skill set that is worth developing, and he could be the long term solution at backup quarterback. However, Tolzien is out of practice squad eligibility, so to keep him this year the Packers would need to carry 3 quarterbacks on the roster, something that they have been hesitant to do in the past. It’s possible that Tolzien could beat out Flynn for the backup spot on the roster, but after last season’s quarterback debacle, I have a hard time seeing the Packers going into the season with the inexperienced Tolzien as their number 1 option behind Rodgers.
- Chase Rettig – Undrafted out of Boston College, where he was a 4 year starter, Rettig threw for over 8,000 yards and 52 touchdowns during his career. Despite his extensive experience in college, Rettig is still a project whose future is dependent on what the Packers decide to do with Tolzien. If the Packers keep just 2 quarterbacks on the roster, Rettig could have a shot at the practice squad. But if the Packers keep both Flynn and Tolzien, it is likely that Rettig will be released.