Obviously they see something in the former undrafted passer out of Wisconsin, making sure that he stuck around in Green Bay for the time being. Tolzien was originally making a typical practice squad player’s salary of $6,000 per week, but was bumped up to an annual salary of $544,999 – equivalent to a second-year player – so that he wouldn’t jump ship to join the Browns.
While they might see the long-term potential in Tolzien, it’s time to see if he has something to offer in the short-term.
With Aaron Rodgers out for about three weeks with a fractured collarbone, the Packers should promote Tolzien to the active roster and let him take the reins until No. 12 is back to full health.
It’s become a bit of a trend this season to start unproven passers. Case Keenum got his first opportunity with the Houston Texans two weeks ago and played well, while Thad Lewis looked good for the Buffalo Bills when he wasn’t hurt. Many would say that Tolzien possesses more potential than both of them, so why would the Packers keep him on the practice squad while aging veteran Seneca Wallace gets the starts in Rodgers’ absence?
Following Wallace’s fill-in performance on Monday night, it’s clear that he can’t competently move the offense. If the Packers are as high on Tolzien as they appear to be, there can’t be much harm in giving him an opportunity to solidify his standing as their backup quarterback of the future.
Tolzien also knows the offense, is familiar with the Packers’ receivers and offensive line and has the smarts to keep it all running the way Mike McCarthy likes.
Tolzien has more potential than any of the three quarterbacks currently on the Minnesota Vikings’ roster, and deserves an opportunity to prove his worth. We’ll see if the Packers take a gamble with Tolzien under center instead of starting the overwhelmed Wallace.
Update (4:45EST): Tolzien has been promoted to the active roster as Wallace’s backup – for now.