Packers position outlook: Quarterbacks

January, 20, 2014
Jan 20
12:15
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- For the next two weeks, we'll take a position-by-position look at what the Green Bay Packers have and what they need.

We can revisit this process before the draft based on what -- if anything -- general manager Ted Thompson does in free agency.

First up is the quarterback position:

2014 free agents: Matt Flynn, Seneca Wallace.

The good: The Packers went 6-2 in the regular season in games in which Aaron Rodgers started and finished. Although he missed nearly half the season because of the broken collarbone he sustained on Nov. 4, his performance was up to his usual standards despite only an average showing in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In the regular season, he ranked fifth in the NFL in completion percentage (66.6 percent, which was better than his career average of 65.7 percent entering the season), second in average gain (8.74 yards) and had a solid touchdown to interception rate (17-to-6).

The bad: Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy failed to find Rodgers' backup during training camp -- when they auditioned Graham Harrell, B.J. Coleman and Vince Young -- and were forced to sign Wallace after final cuts. At the same time, they added Scott Tolzien to the practice squad. Wallace didn't get through his first start after Rodgers got hurt. Wallace's groin injury forced Tolzien into action and necessitated the return of Flynn. Tolzien showed some promise but wasn't ready to win games, so Flynn took over and went 2-2-1 in games in which he either finished or started.

The money: Rodgers' salary-cap charge jumps to $17.9 million in 2014, up from $12 million last year when he signed his five-year, $110 million extension. Tolzien is under contract for a minimum salary of $645,000. Flynn, who made $294,412 for his portion of the season on the Packers' roster, and Wallace also were working for minimum contracts, but those were only one-year deals. At age 33, Wallace is unlikely to return. Flynn might still want another shot to start somewhere else.

Draft priority: Since drafting Flynn (seventh round) and Brian Brohm (second round) in 2008, Thompson has taken only one quarterback == Coleman (seventh round in 2012). Unless Thompson is convinced Tolzien can be a long-term backup or wants Flynn to fulfill that role again, there's a need to take another mid-to-late round quarterback like Ron Wolf used to do on a regular basis when he was the general manager. Despite having Brett Favre as his starter, Wolf drafted six quarterbacks from 1993-99.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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