Aaron Rodgers is returning to the Green Bay Packers. And now, they have a decision to make on Jordan Love. At the NFL Scouting Combine last week, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said that it “isn’t [the] time” to field trade calls on Love, adding, “I would be very doubtful that I would take many of those calls to begin with.”
A week later, it must be the time. With Rodgers deciding to not only return to the Packers, but having reportedly agreed to a record-breaking contract extension, Love is probably a backup for the entirety of his rookie contract.
How Jordan Love is impacted by Aaron Rodgers’ return to Green Bay
The Packers are of course wise to hang onto Rodgers for as long as possible. He just won his second straight MVP award and fourth overall. The front office has built an excellent roster, and the Packers are poised to win it all in 2022.
But the decision to double-down on Rodgers at age 38 is also a reflection of the organization’s assessment of Love’s first two years as a pro. Love appeared in six games in 2021, starting one (when Rodgers was out with COVID-19). He didn’t play well, completing just 58.1% of his passes for 411 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions while averaging 6.6 yards per attempt.
Practice was probably not much better. And practice alone won’t make him much better.
“I think the next step for Jordan is just to play,” Gutekunst told Pro Football Network in Indianapolis. “He needs to play. He needs to get those preseason reps as much as he can.
“I thought last spring when Aaron was absent and he got all of the one reps, he took a lot of growth. He just needs to continue to do that. We’re excited about his development, but until these guys play, especially at that position but really at any position, until you get in real live games and get that experience, I think it’s tough to develop.”
Why the Packers should trade Love this offseason
Good luck, Jordan, finding any playing time beyond the preseason in 2022 and beyond. Rodgers has missed just nine games total in the last eight seasons for non-COVID health reasons. He’s great at getting the ball out and avoiding contact.
So the Packers have a decision: Either ride out the last two years of Love’s deal (at a very affordable $4 million in total salary over that stretch) or admit their colossal first-round mistake in 2020 and move on.
There are plenty of teams that would love to take a shot at a potential franchise quarterback on the cheap. Now that Rodgers is back, if the Packers can even get a fourth-round pick for Love, they should pull the trigger.