The 2021 NFL draft rumors about the Green Bay Packers are starting to get a little ridiculous at this point.
On Monday, the possibility of the Packers trading away 2020 first-round quarterback Jordan Love began trending on Twitter after a pair of photos — allegedly leaked from inside the Packers’ front office — showed the details of a trade proposal involving the New England Patriots.
The supposed deal would involve the Patriots sending the No. 15 overall pick to the Packers in exchange for Love, the No. 29 pick and a fourth-round pick (No. 142). It is also a trade that, based on all known facts, is likely nothing more than nonsense.
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Why Jordan Love Won’t Get Traded
Say for a minute that the Love-to-Pats trade rumor wasn’t started by a sketchy Twitter account using leaked pictures that cannot be verified. It would still be quite the leap for the Packers to consider moving on from him so soon.
The Packers made a bold decision to move up and get Love in last year’s draft, knowing it would cause waves with Aaron Rodgers still under contract for several more seasons. He is a quarterback prospect that both general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur were thrilled to acquire and nothing yet suggests those feelings have changed — even an MVP-winning season from Rodgers.
Love is also just one year into a four-year, $12.38 million rookie contract that is fully guaranteed. If the Packers found a trade partner for Love, they would be able to pass off some of the financial burden, but they would still be on the hook for the remainder of his $6.566 signing bonus, which is prorated over his deal.
Even if the motivation to trade Love existed, the Packers would likely want a better deal than this alleged one involving the Patriots. Gutekunst gave up the No. 30 overall pick and a fourth-rounder in 2020 to move up four spots for Love. To give him up one year later — along with another fourth-round pick — just to move up 14 spots in the first round would make little sense at all.
Bill Belichick also had his chance to get Love in the 2020 NFL draft and didn’t take it. The now-Packers quarterback was still on the board when the Patriots elected to trade down from No. 23 overall to gain additional picks in the second and third rounds. Three picks later, the Packers traded up to land him at No. 26 overall.
Packers Could Still Trade No. 29 Pick
The chances the Packers part ways with either of their quarterbacks on draft day are extremely slim, but the same cannot be said about their No. 29 overall pick. Gutekunst has traded up in each of his first three drafts as the Packers’ general manager and could be determined to move up or down again when the first night of the 2021 draft gets underway.
There are a few prospects expected to go in the middle of the first round who could make sense for the Packers to target, including Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins and Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley. If a guy they really like falls into the early or mid-20s, they could go up and get him the same as they did with Love last year.
The Packers could also stockpile some Day 2 or Day 3 assets by trading down out of the first round; though, they currently have 10 picks in this year’s draft with multiple in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds thanks to compensatory rules. A first-round talent would be valuable to a team that has reached two straight conference championship games, but so, too, would a pair of second-rounders with one taken early.