Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 1/23/12
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Quarterback Matt Flynn could be given the Packers franchise tag this offseason. He may just be allowed to walk away in free agency. Whatever the case is, Flynn will not be back in Green Bay next season. Flynn was just too good in his record-breaking Week 17 performance to be a backup quarterback any longer. Flynn's teammates don't even expect him back. After Flynn's six touchdowns and 480 yards led the Packers to a win over the Detroit Lions, many Green Bay players were already wishing him well on his next stop. Flynn's inevitable departure will give an opportunity to Graham Harrell to take a step up the ladder. Spending most of this season on the Packers' practice squad, Harrell was promoted to the active roster when the Buffalo Bills tried to sign him away from Green Bay after Week 13. That move to keep Harrell -- which came with a significant pay increase -- further emphasized that general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy were preparing for Flynn's upcoming free agency and couldn't lose both backup quarterbacks in such a short amount of time. "This offseason is all about learning and developing," Harrell said the day after the Packers were eliminated from the playoffs. "That's how any offseason is, continuing to improve, and hopefully I can do that. If I do that, the rest will take care of itself." Harrell, a 26-year-old who went undrafted in 2009, has been with the Packers since May 2010. Since then, Harrell has been working with Aaron Rodgers, quarterbacks coach Tom Clements and McCarthy. There is only one scenario in which Harrell will play in a meaningful game at quarterback for the Packers next season: An injury to Rodgers. However, that can be a very important spot on an NFL team. Just ask any member of the Chicago Bears what happens when your team is not equipped with a proper backup quarterback. As Harrell prepares for this next step in his career, he can draw from the experience of watching Flynn go from a relatively unnoticed seventh-round pick to one of the biggest prizes in the free agent market. "Green Bay has had a history for a long time of doing that with guys, (and) with the coaching staff they have here, it's a great place to develop," Harrell said. "And with Aaron, he really helps out the guys behind him. So this is a great place to learn and develop and tune in your skills and get an opportunity hopefully to some day start. But this is a great place to kind of learn it." Harrell has had a lot of success as a quarterback. In his senior year at Texas Tech, Harrell won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given to the most outstanding fourth-year quarterback in college football. That season, Harrell threw for 45 touchdowns and nine interceptions as Texas Tech went 11-1, including a win over No. 1 Texas. One of the biggest offseason programs that will benefit Harrell as he's elevated to No. 2 on the depth chart is going through McCarthy and Clements' quarterback school. A year ago, due to the NFL lockout, Harrell never had an opportunity to make his debut in the quarterback school. This season, he'll get a chance. "The quarterback school is great and I think it's helped develop a lot of guys here," Harrell said. "It'd be a great learning experience for me, and hopefully we get an opportunity to go through it this season." While Harrell will get that opportunity, it will be abbreviated in comparison to previous years. Due to the parameters agreed to in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, coaches will have less access to their players during the offseason. And McCarthy said he doesn't like it at all. "It takes a chunk out of it, that's for sure," McCarthy said when asked how it will affect the quarterback school. "The offseason program that's going into effect in 2012 is, the time allotment with your football team and the opportunity to have individuals spend one-on-one time with the coaches, a lot of that has been depleted. "Unfortunately for Graham, it won't be like it has been in the past." As the Packers continue to prepare for Flynn as another team's starting quarterback next season, Thompson signed Arena League quarterback Nick Hill to a contract last week. While it's highly unlikely for Hill to step in and surpass Harrell, Hill did throw for 97 touchdowns in an Orlando Predators jersey last season. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp


Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Padres reportedly making progress on Cashner trade

NFL Network to stream on PlayStation Vue

Report: Eagles’ Nigel Bradham charged for assaulting cabana boy

Rudy Gay underwent minor Achilles procedure this summer

Bashaud Breeland brought puppies to Washington camp

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker