The Pack traded up to select Jordan Love with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft with the idea of installing him as Rodgers’ heir apparent. Rodgers responded by getting angry, pushing for a trade, winning consecutive NFL MVP Awards (the third and fourth of his career) then maneuvering into a new extension for over $150 million that makes the highest paid player annually in league history.
To say that Love has missed the boat in Green Bay is a vast, vast understatement. But that isn’t necessarily his fault. Love has had limited opportunities to prove his worth under center for the Packers, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to get many more chances anytime soon, barring a catastrophic injury to Rodgers.
Currently, Love’s trade value is a little bit in flux. He’s a young quarterback who merited first-round draft status from the organization that brought you Brett Favre, before replacing him with Rodgers. Love has two years remaining on his rookie deal, with a team option for a fifth year because of his draft position. He hasn’t blown anyone away in his on-field performances, most of which have come in garbage time or during the preseason. But he also hasn’t played poorly enough, or enough in any sense of the word, to play himself out of contention for a starting job.
The initial key to QB value in the NFL is employing a franchise signal caller on a rookie contract, which allows a front office to spend its money surrounding that player with talent and supplementing the offense by buying a quality defense. Love can still represent that chance to more than a dozen franchises across the league, but the longer the Packers wait to deal him while simultaneously keeping him sidelined, the more his value presumably drops.
Translation: the time has come to consider dealing Love to a QB-desperate franchise in order to maximize his value — especially considering the fact that Rodgers is rarely hurt, having started at least 15 games every season, save for two, since 2008.
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Packers Must Consider Cashing in on Jordan Love This Offseason
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report laid out the case for moving Love within the next couple of months as part of a piece published on Wednesday, July 6.
There were 13 quarterbacks selected in the 2020 NFL draft. Despite being a first-round pick, Jordan Love has thrown fewer attempts than five of them.
Heading into his third season, Love has made just one start and thrown 62 passes. We still have no idea if he’s even good. His 58.1 completion percentage and three interceptions to two touchdowns aren’t a great sign, but it’s such a small sample size it doesn’t tell us anything.
At this point, it’s hard to tell if or when Love might get a shot at being a starting quarterback in the NFL. The value of a rookie quarterback on their initial four-year contract is so appealing to teams because of the financial flexibility it brings.
With Aaron Rodgers signing an extension, it’s completely possible Love is stuck behind the future Hall of Famer for his entire rookie contract.
That’s not ideal for him and really isn’t great for the Packers, either. If a team suffers an injury at quarterback, the Packers would be wise to see what they can get out of their former first-rounder.
Packers Waiting on Right Deal For Jordan Love, Per Reports
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in May that multiple teams have approached Green Bay with interest in Love, but that the right offer has yet to materialize.
“I do think they had some interest [during draft weekend]. I don’t think they had any offer that would make it so they had to move on from [Love],” Rapoport told the Pat McAfee Show. “I guarantee somebody would trade a fifth-rounder for Jordan Love. I’m sure somebody would trade a fourth-rounder for Jordan Love. But is that enough for the Packers?”
“Now, if someone is willing to give maybe a [second-rounder], definitely; or a [third-rounder], maybe. Then I think [the Packers] would say, ‘You know what, we’ll take the [trade], we’ll sign a veteran backup, and we’ll deal with it,'” Rapoport continued. “It’s just the value hasn’t come close to meeting what they would do it for.”
Rob Demovsky of ESPN wrote in June that he did not believe the Packers were quite ready to move on from Love and would likely look to make a trade following the upcoming season.
“Here’s why it’s a critical juncture for both Love and the team that took him in the first round of the 2020 draft: If the Packers believe Rodgers will play beyond 2022, then they probably will try to trade Love next offseason,” Demovsky wrote. “If they keep him, they’ll have to decide by next May whether to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.”
Green Bay currently has three quarterbacks on the depth chart after a surprise move earlier this offseason in which they released backup Kurt Benkert in favor of Danny Etling. Were the Packers to trade Love, Etling would slot in behind Rodgers, though the franchise would almost surely pursue a veteran to play in between the two.
Etling has been employed by seven professional franchises since the New England Patriots selected him in the seventh round of the 2018 draft, including as a member of the Packers practice squad, but he has never thrown a pass in an NFL regular season game.