Jordan Love, the Packers’ first-round draft pick, told ESPN’s Maria Taylor on Friday night that he had spoken with Rodgers over the phone earlier in the day about their future together in Green Bay. According to ESPN’s Rob Demovksy, Rodgers initiated the conversation.
“I was able to talk with him earlier,” Love told Taylor during ABC’s draft broadcast on Friday. “Really good guy. Just congratulated me, and I was just letting him know that I was excited to be able to work with him.”
Rodgers had said Thursday during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show’s draft special he intended to call the Packers’ first-round draft pick and welcome him to the team — especially if he was a member of the offense — but the Packers threw a bit of a curveball when they traded up from No. 30 to 26 to select a quarterback who has become the presumptive heir to Rodgers’ role as starting quarterback.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said during his teleconference after the first round he hadn’t discussed the possibility of drafting a quarterback with Rodgers prior to making the trade-up for Love, but he added he wasn’t worried about the pick causing problems with their current superstar quarterback.
“Aaron’s been through a lot in his career and certainly has been through a situation like this,” Gutekunst said Thursday night. “I think he’s a pro’s pro and he’s playing for legacy type things here, not only in Green Bay but in the National Football League — historic-type stuff. So I know he’ll be very motivated and don’t foresee this being an issue.”
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Rodgers Has Been in Love’s Shoes Before
Rodgers is signed through the 2023 season with a potential out for the Packers after the next two seasons, but the 36-year-old quarterback has expressed an interest in playing until at least the end of his current contract and has been a generational talent for the organization since taking the reins from Hall of Famer Brett Favre to start the 2008 season.
But that not-so-delicate transition from Favre to Rodgers is part of what helped Gutekunst feel confident about his current starter’s ability to put the latest move into perspective. Rodgers even gave him some public reassurance nearly two months ago when offering up his thoughts on the possibility of the Packers drafting a young quarterback to groom behind him.
“Well, look, I’m a realist,” Rodgers said on ESPN Milwaukee’s “Wilde and Tausch” in March. “I know where we’re at as an organization and where I’m at in my career. I still feel like I have a ton of years left playing at a high level. I’ve always felt like it doesn’t matter who you bring in, they’re not going to be able to beat me out anytime soon. I feel really confident about my abilities and my place.”
Gutekunst seems to agree. The Packers general manager gave Rodgers a vote of confidence while discussing Love’s addition and went as far as to call him “the best quarterback in the National Football League” when discussing his outlook for 2020 and beyond.
“We certainly think (Love) has a very good upside to become a starter in the National Football League, but we have the best quarterback in the National Football League and plan to have him for a while competing for championships,” Gutekunst said.