Today marks the 67th birthday of quarterback Dean Carlson, who was the Packers’ third quarterback for the first half of the 1974 season, although he never appeared in a game for Green Bay. Carlson was drafted by Kansas City in the seventh round of the 1972 draft and spent two seasons with the Chiefs without ever reaching the field. On September 10, 1974 – five days before the start of the season – Packers’ Coach Dan Devine traded mutton-chopped quarterback Jim Del Gaizo to the Giants for a 1976 third round pick that he then sent to Kansas City for Carlson. Six weeks later, Devine acquired John Hadl from the Rams, and Carlson was released. Carlson re-signed with Kansas City a week later and saw his only NFL game action in the Chiefs season finale against the Vikings on December 14, completing 7 of 15 passes for 116 yards and one interception.
Carlson is one of nine (ten if you include Joe Callahan who is still active) quarterbacks I know of who have been part of the Packers’ active roster without ever appearing in a game for the team:
Neil Graff 1978 – previously played for New England and Pittsburgh.
Mark Miller 1980 – formerly played for Cleveland.
John McCarthy 1987 – was the third quarterback on the Packer Replacement Players team
Mike Norseth 1990 – once played for Cincinnati.
Rick Mirer 1998 – played for Seattle and Chicago before and the Jets, 49ers and Raiders after Green Bay.
Aaron Brooks 1999 – became a starting quarterback with New Orleans.
Todd Bouman 2006 – former Viking and Saint who later played with the Rams and Jaguars.
Brian Brohm 2008 – got to play a little with Buffalo after leaving Green Bay
McCarthy is the only one of these quarterbacks who never appeared in an NFL game. Several other quarterbacks like Dennis Claridge, Mark Brunell and Ty Detmer spent at least a season on the roster without playing but eventually did get on the field in the Green and Gold.
Top four custom cards are colorized.