The Green Bay Packers saw enough of Vince Young to know the two-time Pro Bowler won’t be their backup quarterback in 2013.
Who that individual will be remains anyone’s guess, but the Packers removed Young from that equation when they released the 30-year-old quarterback during Saturday’s NFL-mandated roster reduction to 53 players.
Since being released by Buffalo, Young spent the year out of football before signing with the Packers on Aug. 5 as competition for returning reserves Graham Harrell and B.J. Coleman.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback started slow as he got up to speed with the Packers’ playbook but seemed to establish himself as the front-runner to spell Aaron Rodgers after completing 7 of 8 passes for 41 yards and scrambling for another 39 in last Friday’s 17-10 loss to Seattle.
The Packers cut ties with Harrell the following day, which allowed Young to see a majority of the work in the team’s preseason finale against Kansas City on Thursday.
However, Young generated only six points in 11 series of work. He finished 14 of 30 passing for 144 yards to leave the door open for the organization to pursue other options.
Now, that appears to be what the Packers are prepared to do in deciding to keep only Rodgers and Coleman on the 53-man roster.
Young finished his preseason stint with the Packers with a 71.6 passer rating, completing 26 of 49 passes (53.1 percent) for 218 yards with one touchdown and well ahead of Coleman, who completed only 41.2 percent of his preseason passes with a 49.6 passer rating.
That’s one of several reasons it would be unlikely for the Packers to keep Coleman on the 53-man roster long term. In all likelihood, the 2012 seventh-round pick out of Tennessee-Chattanooga could be a place holder for another veteran brought in or claimed off waivers.
Although the pool for backup quarterbacks was thin when the Packers signed Young earlier this month, it swelled considerably as cuts were announced across the NFL.
Joining an unemployment line already consisting of Matt Leinart, Mike Kafka, Caleb Hanie, Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer on Saturday were Tim Tebow (New England), Jimmy Clausen (Carolina), Brady Quinn (Seattle), Rusty Smith (Tennessee), David Carr (N.Y. Giants), Thaddeus Lewis (Buffalo), Dennis Dixon (Philadephia) and John Skelton (Cincinnati).
Tebow will rise to the top of everyone’s radar, but the circus that travels with the former Florida quarterback and his inability to acclimate to a pro-style offense make him an ill-advised fit in Green Bay.
It’s more likely the Packers go after someone like Quinn or Clausen, two relatively young high-round draft choices who come with more traditional makeup and less baggage. Or maybe Skelton, a 6-foot-6 quarterback out of Fordham with a laser for an arm but erratic tendencies.
In the short term, it looks like the Packers will take a look at former University of Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien. According to Packer Report, the 25-year-old will sign to the Packers’ practice squad on Sunday.
The move could be nothing more than gaining some extra information about next week’s regular-season opening opponent, the San Francisco 49ers. Tolzien spent portions of the past two years with the team.
Whatever direction the Packers go, it likely will be with a quarterback who’s learning on the fly. Considering many national pundits’ criticism of Harrell serving as Rodgers’ backup last year, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
As for Young, it appears his quest for professional redemption will have to start somewhere other than Green Bay. The third overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, Young has a 31-19 career record as a starting quarterback, but has been cut three times in three years since leaving Tennessee in 2010 after a five-year stint.
NFL Network reported Saturday night that Young still wants to be an NFL quarterback. If not, he reportedly has a job waiting for him in the University of Texas athletic department.
— firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.