Backup quarterback is too valuable to trade away

The United States Postal Service doesn’t deliver on Sunday, but Packer Update now does. Send me your questions on the Packers or the NFL and I’ll answer a few of them at this time every week.

There are still a lot of teams in need of a quarterback and there won’t be many available in free agency. Is there any chance the Packers would be willing to trade Matt Flynn? Also, if Seattle is reportedly willing to give up a 1 and a 3 for Kevin Kolb, what would Flynn be worth? -Alex

Any possibility of trading Flynn ended once the lockout dragged into the spring. Without quarterback school, mini-camps and OTAs, the Packers still aren’t sure what they have in second-year pro Graham Harrell. And there’s no way a Super Bowl contender can go into a season with such an unknown commodity backing up the team’s best and most important player. As for Flynn’s worth, some general manager might’ve been willing to give up a 3rd for him a month or two ago, but he’s probably not worth even that now. It’s simply too late for Flynn to learn a new system, plus he’ll likely be eligible for unrestricted free agency next March. Those are the same two reasons I can’t imagine any team giving up a 1 and a 3 for Kolb (not to mention that he’s overrated).

Ted Thompson obviously made the right decision in hiring Mike McCarthy, but I’ve always wondered how close he came to hiring Jim Bates? I ask that because I remember how popular Bates was with fans back then and now I don’t even think he’s in the league. -Jerry

You’re right, a lot of fans – and quite a few members of the media – wanted Green Bay’s defensive coordinator to replace Mike Sherman, but that was never going to happen. Thompson gave Bates a courtesy interview, but the only three serious candidates were McCarthy, Sean Payton and Frank Beamer. Looking back, I’ll admit that I wasn’t thrilled with McCarthy’s hiring (Payton was my guy), but I was OK with anyone not named Bates. I thought he was one of the most overrated defensive coordinators in the NFL. His scheme was too simplistic for the 21st century – something both Denver and Tampa Bay quickly found out.

What position group will be season ready first? Please rank them in order of time needed to be ready for the opener? -BubbaOne

This is where Green Bay will have an advantage over just about every other team in the league. With no rookies projected as starters and no new assistant coaches, it shouldn’t take the Packers very long to get ready for the season (I know that the running backs and wide receivers will have different coaches, but Edgar Bennett and Jerry Fontenot have been on the staff for years, so they know the personnel and they know how McCarthy wants things done). That’s why the opener against New Orleans should be such a terrific game. The Saints are another team with a lot of veteran starters and a very stable coaching staff.

We’re around the same age, so I’d like to know what has been your happiest moment as a Packer fan. Mine was Super Bowl XXXI. I think I liked this year’s team better, but the win in ’96 was incredibly special because of how awful the team was in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. -Chris

The two Super Bowls were obviously great and beating the 49ers in the ’95 playoffs was special, but my greatest moment will probably surprise a lot of people. That’s because it didn’t really involve Green Bay. I’ll never forget the final two minutes of the Arizona/Minnesota game on Dec. 28, 2003. The Packers were red-hot and had just dominated the Broncos, but it looked like they weren’t going to make the playoffs. All the Vikings had to do was beat the woeful Cardinals and they would be NFC North champs. And just as I was about to lose hope, journeyman quarterback Josh McCown hit journeyman wide receiver Nate Poole with one of the most improbable TD passes in the history of the NFL. I screamed longer and louder after that than I ever did before or have since. And the thrills didn’t end on that day. A week later Al Harris’ pick beat Seattle in OT and a week after that… well we all know what happened then. Still, those 3 weeks were a perfect example of what’s so great about sports.



About the author

Packer Update is the creation of a longtime fan. My name is Michael Rodney and I was a sportswriter in the early 1990s. I worked full-time for a newspaper in South Jersey, but I still managed to get quite a few articles about the Packers published during that time. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing about the most storied franchise in all of pro sports.