Packers Insider Makes Case for Trading Jordan Love at NFL Deadline

Love Trade Proposal

Getty Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field on September 12, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Green Bay Packers do not appear likely to become major players at the NFL trade deadline on November 2, but there is one bold move they could try: Shipping Jordan Love to a team hungry for a new quarterback.

NFL insider Rob Demovsky recently put the idea forward for an ESPN piece in which beat reporters picked one potential trade target for every team. While acknowledging that the Packers are “not likely” to consider a trade involving Love, he argued that dealing away Love could help them both renew their commitment to Aaron Rodgers as well as eliminate some of their salary-cap issues heading into 2022.

Here’s what Demovsky wrote:

It’s not likely that the Packers would do this trade, but here’s a case in favor of it: It would show Aaron Rodgers that they’re truly committed to him beyond just this season. That might prompt Rodgers to sign a contract extension that would not only help ensure he could finish his career in Green Bay, but also alleviate some of the salary-cap issues that might force the Packers into a rebuilding mode in 2022. It would be risky, because there’s still a chance Love — the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 draft — could be their next franchise quarterback, but it’s not like he has done anything so far to assure the team of such a future.

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How Much Could Packers Get for Love?

The Packers don’t need to look hard for reasons not to trade Love. While he is still unproven as an NFL quarterback, the organization took a massive risk when it traded up to get him in the 2020 NFL draft and has been developing behind the scenes as someone they believe could eventually step into Rodgers’ shoes as their next starting quarterback. They also firmly stood their ground with Love while feuding with Rodgers during the offseason, resolving the issues by shortening Rodgers’ deal with the team and moving up their timeline with Love.

Suffice it to say, the Packers still really like Love’s potential.

Now, perhaps their assessment has begun to change since then. Love looked solid in the preseason, but there weren’t many moments that screamed “undeniable.” He also battled an injury for a small portion of it, limiting their opportunities to evaluate him. The truth of the matter may be that the Packers need to throw him into a real game to know for sure what they have on their hands, and that’s difficult to do when the only path to doing so is moving on from Rodgers.

Rodgers has also continued to show he can compete at a high level through the first six games of the 2021 season. Sure, it could be argued that an MVP season should have been enough to prove that to the Packers, but seeing him maintain the same level of play makes replacing him all the more difficult. The Packers could instead admit they made a mistake bringing in Love and re-invest in Rodgers in a way that allows him to fulfill his original dream of retiring in Green Bay. After all, winning is the most important part, and it’s hard to imagine their chances of doing so improve with Rodgers no longer at the helm.

If Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst was willing to admit he made a mistake — and there’s still not a ton of compelling evidence that he did — it could be beneficial for them to move Love sooner rather than later while they still have a talent-packed roster. Teams like Houston, Atlanta and Washington could all potentially make sense as trade partners, and it might not take more than a fourth-round pick to pry him away.

Then again, as Demovsky said, that’s not too likely to happen.

Other Potential Trade Assets for Packers

Part of the reason why Love looks appealing as a trade asset for the Packers is the fact that nobody else really stands out in that way on their active roster. Many of their veteran pieces are either too valuable or too expensive to be moved over the next few weeks. There was a point in time where Lucas Patrick looked like he might have some trade value as an experienced interior lineman who could play multiple positions and had dropped out of the starting line, but an injury to Josh Myers — and Patrick’s utility as a backup center — makes it extremely unlikely they will try moving Patrick.

Otherwise, there don’t seem to be any genuine trade candidates on the Packers’ roster. They will have a surplus of wideouts once Marquez Valdes-Scantling (injured reserve) and Malik Taylor (COVID-19) both return to the roster, but it seems doubtful they would trade any of their viable receiving weapons given the lofty goals of their current campaign.

One name that could make sense is starting left guard Jon Runyan Jr if the Packers were motivated to add draft capital. While he has been a starter for the majority of the season and is only in the second year of his affordable rookie contract, the Packers could find him a little redundant once their offensive line unit is at full strength again. The best course of action might be for them to continue developing the 2020 sixth-rounder, but it isn’t a huge leap to think he could become a bargaining chip, especially with rookie Royce Newman also playing at a starter level.

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