2014 free-agent countdown
20. Chris Banjo, safety
19. Seneca Wallace, quarterback
The Green Bay Packers surprised many on the morning of Sept. 2 when they sent B.J. Coleman packing for Chattanooga and signed 33-year-old quarterback Seneca Wallace to back up Aaron Rodgers.
It reunited Ted Thompson with one of the prospects he playing a role in drafting during his tenure with the Seattle Seahawks and provided Rodgers with his first No. 2 who actually had more experience than himself.
Rodgers enjoyed Wallace’s company and seemed to be a hit with the coaching staff, but the 10-year veteran also was being paid for what he could do on the field.
After the Packers went 20 years with three starting quarterbacks, Wallace was the first domino in the rollercoaster that ensued after Rodgers broke his left collarbone on the first series of a 27-20 loss to Chicago on Nov. 4.
Wallace started the next week, but also lasted only one series before tearing the left adductor in his groin, which required season-ending surgery. Out of football in 2012, Wallace again was confined to the sidelines.
“It was really difficult,” Wallace said last week. “For something like that to happen that early in the game, especially for me, I felt like I let the team down more than anything else. They bringing me in here in Week 1 and I have to perform when my number is called. It’s frustrating but it’s part of football.”
Wallace agreed to a one-year deal for a veteran’s minimum of $840,000, which counted only $555,000 against the salary cap due to the veteran salary benefit, but it seems unlikely he’ll be re-signed.
The Packers brought in former backup Matt Flynn following Wallace’s injury and he ended up filling in admirably in Rodgers’ place with a 2-2 record and 86.1 quarterback rating. Like Wallace, he’s an unrestricted free agent.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Tom Clements also are high on the potential of third-stringer Scott Tolzien, who initially replaced Wallace and has another year left on his contract.
Wallace said he doesn’t plan on retiring and would love to be back in Green Bay, but that’s not his decision.
“It’s like anything else. At some point it has to come to an end,” Wallace said. “I had a long career and hopefully it’s not over yet.”
Editor's note: Over the next three weeks, Press-Gazette Media will count down the top 20 unrestricted, restricted and exclusive right free agents the Green Bay Packers will have to decide on this offseason.
Seneca Wallace, 10th year quarterback
The skinny: Unrestricted free agent.
The snaps: 58 total (58 offense).
The stats: 16-of-24 for 139 yards with one interception in two games (one start).
The 2013 salary: $662,118.
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