The Green Bay Packers have two quarterbacks under contract for 2014 — starter Aaron Rodgers and 2013 third-stringer Scott Tolzien. Matt Flynn, who started four games while Rodgers was injured in 2013, is a free agent.
He has at least one proponent in Green Bay, though. That guy is new quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, who says he hopes the Packers re-sign Flynn this offseason.
“I think Matt has a great track record. He’s been successful in this system. His understanding of the system is huge,” said Van Pelt. “It’s very tough to operate as a quarterback in this system with all the flexibility you have to be able to change plays at the line of scrimmage. Having an understanding of the system is huge for him.
“The way he fits in the locker room, especially in the quarterback room. The things he does to get Aaron ready to play on Sundays are little things that are hidden sometimes when you’re looking at guys. So I’m excited to hopefully get him back in there.”
Flynn was 2-2 while starting for Rodgers in 2013. He threw for 1,146 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Those aren’t bad numbers, but they don’t mean Flynn is going to get a shot to start with another team.
Since Flynn left the Packers as a free agent following the 2011 season, his career has gone straight off a cliff. In 2012, he lost a training camp battle with Russell Wilson and rode the bench for Seattle. In 2013, he was traded to Oakland, where he got benched in favor of Terrelle Pryor and later released. He was picked up by Buffalo and then released again before he finally landed in Green Bay.
In short, Flynn didn’t perform well in any of those other stops. He only performed well in Green Bay, which would seem to suggest he’s perfectly suited for the Packers’ system and not much else.
That would lead us to believe there’s not going to be much of a market for Flynn in free agency. That, in turn, means the Packers can sign him for a reasonable price.
The big question then is what happens to Tolzien. He has the arm the strength, but showed in his two 2013 starts he still has a lot to learn.
We can’t see the Packers keeping three quarterbacks on the active roster in 2014 and Tolzien is out of practice squad eligibility. So if the Packers bring back Flynn, it will likely be a battle to the death in training camp to be Rodgers’ backup.
Nothing wrong with competition.