The Green Bay Packers made one really big mistake in the offseason leading up to the 2013 season–they didn’t address the backup quarterback position and simply gambled that Aaron Rodgers would stay healthy because he had in the past.
Well as we all know, the Packers learned that in the NFL–nothing can be taken for granted. Rodgers, who had missed just one start in his previous five seasons as a starter, missed nine games due a broken collarbone and thanks to poor planning by Packers GM Ted Thompson, the season was almost ruined.
Thankfully, Matt Flynn was there to save the day and if anything happens to Rodgers in 2014 (knock on wood), the Packers will turn to Flynn again as they learned from their past mistakes and re-signed the former seventh-round draft choice Tuesday to be their backup quarterback again in 2014.
The deal was first reported Tuesday afternoon by ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
QB Matt Flynn reached agreement with the Packers.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 15, 2014
The only thing missing at this point are the terms of the agreement between Flynn and the Packers. This is important because after struggling to find a reliable backup after Flynn left the first time, the team should have been trying to secure him to a multi-year deal, solidifying the backup quarterback spot for years to come.
Yet, these things always come down to money and if the Flynn is going to sign a multi-year deal to be a backup, I am sure he would want top backup quarterback money, which is normally in the range of $2-4 million per year.
I have a hard time believing the Packers were willing to pay Flynn more than $1-2 million per year, so a one-year deal would not be the least bit surprising.
Flynn, who turns 29 in June, filled in admirably while Rodgers was out, starting four games and seeing time in fifth. The Packers went 2-2-1 in those five games and the former LSU standout completed 61.4 percent of his passes, while also throwing seven touchdowns compared to just four interceptions. He also posted a quarterback rating of 86.1 and averaged 229 yards passing per game.
Furthermore, Flynn showed a flair for the dramatic as he led the Packers from down 16 points to tie the Vikings in Week 12, rallied Green Bay from 11 down to beat Atlanta in Week 14 and followed it up with an incredible 23-point come from behind victory against the Cowboys in Week 15.
“I thought Matt Flynn came in and did a number of good things,” McCarthy said earlier this off-season. “There’s a lot of stability he brings to the quarterback room as far as the role that he needs to play and his role to the starting quarterback to help them scout and so forth, so Matt is obviously a good fit for our program.
“I thought he definitely gave us a shot in the arm when we needed it.”
Of course just because Flynn re-signed doesn’t necessarily mean he will be the backup in 2014 as Scott Tolizen is still on the roster and after a year of further development could challenge to be the no.2 behind Rodgers.
Tolzien has more arm talent than Flynn and made plenty of big plays while he filled in for Rodgers but too many came for the defense, as he threw five interceptions compared to just one touchdown.
The Packers may also look to add a young quarterback this offseason either through the draft or by bringing in an undrafted free agent. McCarthy has said he would like to carry four quarterbacks on the roster heading into training camp. Yet it’s hard to see four quarterbacks making the final 53-man roster, which makes me believe they will avoid a quarterback in the draft, go the rookie free agent route and look to develop the kid on the practice squad.
Regardless of the long-term, the Packers roster is unquestionably better with Flynn back on it. He may not be a superstar or even a starting-caliber quarterback but if Rodgers suffers another injury, Flynn is good enough to win a few games and keep the team afloat until he returns and in the end that’s all you can ask of your backup quarterback.