Packers Projected to Give $20 Million Extension to Unproven Starter

Getty The Green Bay Packers are in a tough situation regarding a $20 million fifth-year option for Jordan Love.

The Green Bay Packers have some tough decisions to make over the coming months, and while general manager Brian Gutekunst is working on an Aaron Rodgers trade, he’s also having to decide what to do with Jordan Love’s contract.

Gutekunst didn’t hold back when asked about Rodgers during NFL owner meetings in Phoenix, saying that he wasn’t able to reach the four-time MVP to discuss his future. Rodgers is now likely heading to New York, leaving the franchise in the hands of Love.

However, there’s already a tough decision coming up for the Packers when it comes to Love’s rookie deal. The team will have to decide on Love’s $20 million fifth-year option by May 1, but Brad Spielberger with Pro Football Focus believes that the team will have to exercise the one-year extension on the unproven soon-to-be starter.

“A $20.272 million fully guaranteed fifth-year option is not a huge expenditure to put on your future books for a franchise quarterback, but it could be a bit scary given his lack of NFL reps,” Spielberger said. “Additionally, Green Bay picked up the fully guaranteed $7.9 million fifth-year option on safety Darnell Savage last offseason and is now regretting that heading into 2023 after he was benched for stretches of the 2022 campaign.”

If the Packers end up exercising Love’s fifth-year option, it will keep the 24-year-old quarterback under contract through the 2024 season.

Is Jordan Love Ready to Start?

Packers fans haven’t been able to see much of Love over the last few years, but there won’t be a better opportunity for him to be slotted into the starting lineup than in 2023.

Love was a first-round pick out of Utah State in the 2020 NFL Draft. Taken to be the successor to Rodgers, that plan took a back seat as the superstar quarterback went on to win back-to-back MVP awards in 2020 and 2021.

Instead, Love has spent his entire career riding the bench, outside of one career start against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021. He struggled in that game, completing just 19 of 34 passes for 190 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the 13-7 loss.

While that one start wasn’t ideal, Love looked much more comfortable this past season replacing an injured Rodgers in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Packers still lost, but Love completed 6 of 9 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, throwing with anticipation and reading the defense much more effectively.

It was only limited action, but that game could give Love the confidence needed to go into 2023 as Green Bay’s starter. The 24-year-old has considered a trade request if Rodgers returns next season, but it’s now looking like he’ll be taking over as the new face of the franchise.

Latest on Aaron Rodgers

A trade has yet to be finalized, but all signs are pointing towards Rodgers playing for the Jets next season.

Despite Rodgers revealing he wants to play in New York in 2023, the two teams have yet to agree on proper compensation for the four-time MVP. Fortunately, but Gutekunst and Jets general manager Joe Douglas shed some light on the situation during owner meetings in Phoenix.

Gutekunst specifically gave some key insight on the ongoing negotiations. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Packers GM admitted that there’s no timeline on when a trade will happen, and that a first-round pick wouldn’t be required to get a deal done. He also didn’t rule out the possibility that Rodgers returns to Green Bay in 2023, but suggested that it wasn’t trending that way.

A trade may still be weeks away, but all parties involved aren’t shying away from talking about the ongoing negotiations publicly.

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