The Green Bay Packers are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to rookie quarterback Jordan Love.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Packers have signed their top draft pick to a fully guaranteed contract worth $12,383,470 over four years with a signing bonus of $6,566,160. Love’s contract is projected to include a fifth-year option and to carry a cap hit of $2,251,537 for the 2020 season, per Spotrac.
#Packers QB Jordan Love received a fully guaranteed four-year $12,383,470 contract, sources say. Signing bonus: $6,566,160. It's the first time the No. 26 pick received a fully guaranteed deal under the current rookie contract system.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 1, 2020
Garafolo added Love’s deal makes him the first No. 26 overall draft pick to receive a fully guaranteed deal under the current rookie contract system, adding some uniquity to the new Packers quarterback’s first NFL contract.
The Packers traded up from No. 30 to select the former Utah State star in one of the most surprising moves of the 2020 NFL draft, leaving many to consider what Love’s arrival will mean for Aaron Rodgers’ future in Green Bay. Rodgers is signed through the 2023 season under his current contract, but there are viable means for the Packers to move on sooner — if confident in Love’s development.
The Packers made official the signing of both Love and second-round running back AJ Dillon on Tuesday afternoon, leaving just three of their nine draft picks in 2020 unsigned. The Packers have not yet agreed to terms with third-round tight end Josiah Deguara, fifth-round linebacker Kamal Martin and sixth-round center Jake Hanson.
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Don’t Read Into ‘Fully Guaranteed’ Aspect of Contract
While Love’s contract does make some history in the current system, it also seems to follow the natural progression of first-round rookies getting paid in recent NFL offseasons.
Fewer than 20 rookies in the 2015 draft class received fully guaranteed contracts, but the number has steadily climbed each year since with Josh Jacobs (No. 24 overall in 2019) extending the margin further last year as a rookie with the Las Vegas Raiders. As such, the Packers’ decision to fully guarantee Love’s deal hasn’t taken many experts by surprise.
No. Not really a big deal. Last year the 24th pick got a fully guaranteed deal which typically meant this year 25 would get one and 26 the next. Rather than haggle over 1.6% of the contract being non-guaranteed they just did the full guarantee since its a QB https://t.co/I5bl2dlUIT
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) July 1, 2020
The bigger question surrounding Love moving forward is how quickly the Packers will attempt to bring him to the helm. Rodgers is the unquestioned starter heading into the 2020 season and figures to remain that way for at least two seasons, barring any injury troubles, but things are a little more complicated beyond 2021.
The Packers have a possible out with Rodgers’ contract during the 2022 offseason and could spend the next two years getting Love ready to take the reins from their two-time MVP at that time, hoping he proves to be as good as anticipated. If they opt to wait longer and a healthy Rodgers plays out his contract, the Packers would then have to justify picking up Love’s fifth-year option without seeing him play meaningful stretches.
“I definitely feel like I’m a good fit for the offense,” Love told Fox 11 News last month moving to Green Bay. “Just seeing the plays they run, the actions and whatnot. I think it’s a really good fit for me.”