Packers Hint at Potential Trade of Former 1st-Round Pick

Matt LaFleur, Green Bay Packers

Getty Head coach Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers watches during pre-game warm-ups prior to the NFC Divisional Playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field on January 22, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers are not in the midst of trading backup quarterback Jordan Love, but team brass isn’t slamming the door shut on the possibility either.

The Packers have four-time MVP signal caller Aaron Rodgers under contract for the next several years and Love has legitimate value, both as a backup in Green Bay but also to more than half of the league that is either searching for a real answer at quarterback or hoping to replace the human equivalent of a bandaid under center. Having pushed all of their proverbial chips into the pot on a three-year Super Bowl window with Rodgers at the helm, the Packers must at least examine the cost/benefit analysis of moving an asset in Love who is likely to remain largely idle for as long as he stays in Green Bay.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke to this dilemma Friday, May 6, during an interview with Mike Clemens of the Wisconsin Radio Network.

“I think we’re excited about [Love’s] development,” Gutekunst said. “He’s going into his third year. He showed really good signs last year. I think his future is bright.”

“As far as what his future is with us, we’ll kind of see how that goes,” Gutekunst continued. “Obviously, with what we’ve done with [Rodgers] and how long [Rodgers] wants to play, that will factor in down the road. But we’re not making any of those decisions right now.”

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QB Jordan Love Can Be Had For The Right Price, Per NFL Insider

Murphy on Love

GettyQB Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to a game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Packers aren’t making any big decisions on Love right now because the NFL Draft concluded just over a week ago, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t listening then (or weren’t willing to listen), or that they won’t listen in the future should the right opportunity present itself.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport appeared as a guest on the Tuesday, May 10 edition of the Pat McAfee Show and said there absolutely is a price Green Bay would accept for Love. During draft weekend, however, no trade offers measured up to it.

I do think they had some interest. I don’t think they had any offer that would make it so they had to move on from [Love]. The problem is, his value as a backup is real. That is an important thing. 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? God forbid something happens to Aaron Rodgers, is that enough for the Packers to say, ‘You know, we’ll do this, we’ll figure it out later.’

They want the security of Love, who knows their system, who they still like. We don’t know if he’s gonna be what they think he’s gonna be, but they still like him. So none of those deals would be enough for them to give up on their backup in case Rodgers gets hurt.

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.’ It’s just the value hasn’t come close to meeting what they would do for it.

Jordan Love’s Trade Value May Never Be Higher Than It Is This Year

Jordan Love Aaron Rodgers

GettyGreen Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (left) and backup quarterback Jordan Love (right) walk onto the field before a game.

It certainly makes sense for the Packers to wait until they get a price commensurate with Love’s value. The team selected the quarterback with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and with just one career start and six regular season appearances, mostly in garbage time, Love has yet to play enough meaningful snaps to either prove or disprove his worth as a first-round player.

That can work to Green Bay’s advantage now, but it may become more of a hindrance than a help down the road. The NFL transformed from a place where quarterbacks sit on the sidelines for several years — Rodgers for three seasons behind Brett Favre, as just one high-profile example — into a league characterized by impatience under center.

Players like Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers were asked to step in as rookies and perform immediately. Others like Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs got one year before their coaches blew the whistle on go-time. If a quarterback resides on the sidelines for too long in the contemporary NFL, something of a stigma begins to attach itself to him. Concerns about stunted growth, a lack of confidence and minimal experience begin to push his value downward.

That isn’t to say Love will be a football pariah if he rides the pine for another season or two behind Rodgers. He’ll still get a shot somewhere at some point — probably more than one. Heck, the Chicago Bears just signed Nathan Peterman to a one-year contract after he produced some of the all-time worst statistics under center with the Buffalo Bills just a few years ago.

But if the Packers don’t act on a Love deal within a reasonable timetable, they run the risk of his trade value deteriorating, and that’s not good for any of the parties involved.

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