The Green Bay Packers landed themselves in hot water with their franchise quarterback last spring when they traded up to select Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, but some analysts are still pushing creative ways for the team to rectify the situation with Aaron Rodgers.
While previewing this week’s 2021 NFL draft, Pro Football Focus’ Anthony Treash argued the Packers should attempt to find a trade partner interested in taking Love off their hands in order to maximize their current Super Bowl window with Rodgers. He even worked out a plausible trade partner — the Pittsburgh Steelers — that was rumored to have held Love in high regard last year.
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Steelers Allegedly Were High on Love in 2020
Treash’s trade proposal operates under the assumption of two things: that “Love’s value has depreciated since Green Bay took him with the 26th overall pick a year ago” and that the Steelers are still interested in his potential as Ben Roethlisberger’s successor — if they were ever truly interested in Love.
Here’s what he proposed:
- Packers get: No. 55 pick (second-rounder) in 2021 and 2023 third-round pick
- Steelers get: QB Jordan Love
If the Packers were looking to recommit to Rodgers in a big way and offload Love on another team, they could do worse than getting back a second- and third-round pick for him. They gave up their original 2020 first-round pick along with a fourth-rounder last year to move up four spaces and get him, but he was relegated to being their third-string quarterback and didn’t play a snap of his rookie season.
Meanwhile, Rodgers won his third-career league MVP and gave people like Treash reason to believe ditching Love is the best course of action moving forward:
NBC Sports’ Peter King noted last April that he was watching two teams in particular when it came to Love in the 2021 NFL Draft: Green Bay and Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger is likely going on a retirement tour for the 2021 season and the Steelers have no clear heir apparent. Green Bay could still possibly get something in the ballpark of the Steelers’ 55th overall pick and a 2023 third-rounder in exchange for Love if they’re still interested, which would be pretty good value, all things considered.
If that happened, Green Bay would have the 29th, 55th, 62nd, 93rd, 136th and 143rd overall picks in the first four rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. Those selections could add receiving threats and work to improve the secondary, which could use help outside of Alexander and the top-notch safety duo of Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage Jr.
Love Trade is Still Highly Unlikely
A certain contingent of analysts and fans have wanted the Packers to get rid of Love ever since they saw the way Rodgers came out to play in 2020, but it is hard to imagine them reversing course on their decision after just one year and no actual opportunity to see the former Utah State quarterback handle himself in a live-game situation.
While the Packers have continued to say they believe Rodgers will be their starting quarterback for “the foreseeable future,” they have yet to do anything of substance to reinforce that idea. General manager Brian Gutekunst insists they are still working through options with Rodgers’ deal — and maybe they will restructure him after the draft — but the only thing that would actually signal bad news for Love at this point would be a contract extension for Rodgers or … well, an unrealistic trade.