The Green Bay Packers are usually pretty quiet when it comes to free agency. This year, they made two signings that could be considered big splashes. The first was re-signing cornerback Sam Shields to a four year contract worth nearly 40 million. The second was signing Julius Peppers to help improve a nonexistent pass rush outside of Clay Matthews. The Packers filled their other holes by signing some of their own free agents like: B.J. Raji, Andrew Quarless, Mike Neal, James Starks, and John Kuhn.
But there was one signing that the Packers made that should be considered a very important one and that was re-signing quarterback Matt Flynn. Flynn it to win it, is back!
Since the Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy era in Green Bay, the Packers have historically only carried two quarterbacks for the majority of the season on the active roster. They have been very fortunate to not have to have their backup quarterback come in and play a significant role in any games. In fact, Thompson has been criticized the past couple of years for not giving Aaron Rodgers a suitable backup in case he were to go down with an injury.
But last year should have proved to the Packers that they need a suitable backup to Rodgers. And since Matt Flynn kept the Packers head above water and helped the team make the playoffs, it should have been a no brainer for the Packers to re-sign Flynn. Yet, it took the Packers a long time to re-sign him and it wasn’t until a rumor spread that he would be heading to the Giants for a workout that kicked the Packers into gear to re-sign him for a one year deal.
Perhaps Flynn was holding out for more money than what the Packers were willing to give him, but in the end the deal is great for both sides. Flynn didn’t put up eye popping stats last year, but he was able to accomplish something that Seneca Wallace and Scott Tolzien couldn’t: being a leader. The other players responded better to Flynn’s leadership on the field. And it was very evident McCarthy trusted Flynn more and there is no better example of that then the Vikings game in November when McCarthy put Flynn in the second half and immediately ran the no huddle offense. Something he wouldn’t let Tolzien run the two weeks prior.
Flynn has only succeeded in McCarthy’s offense and the Packers have a backup they can trust if Rodgers were to go down again. The Packers love Scott Tolzien’s potential and after having Tolzien for a full year and McCarthy will have him for his famous quarterback school, Tolzien could be the future backup. But for next year, the smart move for the Packers was to bring back Flynn. I have always said, the second most important position on a team is the backup quarterback. You never know when your franchise player will go down and if he does, you need someone to step in and be able to play at a level that will give your team a chance to win. With the Packers signing Flynn, he gives them that chance to compete and win games.