Proposed Trade Flips Packers’ Love to AFC Contender For Top Draft Pick

Jordan Love, Packers

Getty Quarterback Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass during a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints in August 2022.

With each preseason appearance, the stock of Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love goes up.

Love produced his second quality preseason start on Friday, August 19, against the New Orleans Saints. The third-year QB completed 12 of 24 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. Love also rushed the ball three times for 13 yards and took just one sack, losing two yards on the play.

Head coach Matt LaFleur sung Love’s praises following the 20-10 victory over the Saints, saying the quarterback is “light years ahead” of where he was one season ago.

“I think the game has slowed down for him,” LaFleur said. “I see a much more decisive player. I think that’s going to lead to a much more effective player.”

The pertinent adjective absent from LaFleur’s description was ‘valuable.’ A more decisive and more effective Love will carry considerably more trade value if the Packers decide to shop him at any point over the next year.

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Indianapolis Colts Named Prospective Trade Partner For Jordan Love

Jordan Love, Packers

GettyQuarterback Jordan Love of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass against the New Orleans Saints during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 19, 2022 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report on Monday said Love’s performances have drawn the eyes of a handful of NFL franchises that aren’t set at quarterback for the long-term.

Love didn’t do much of note during his first two seasons in the league but looked sharp in his preseason debut this year. … That performance should have perked up the ears of several rival teams in need of a franchise quarterback, a group that includes the Indianapolis Colts.

[The Colts] settled on veteran Matt Ryan to lead the offense this year — the latest in a string of stopgap signal callers the team has brought in following Andrew Luck’s retirement — but have a clear need for a young QB to build around.

While [Love] wouldn’t take the reins right away, spending a year learning the system and preparing to take over in 2023 could set him up for sustained long-term success.

Kay went on to suggest that a second-round pick might loosen the Packers’ grip on Love, who Green Bay can extend next spring, thereby controlling his player rights for the next three years. But as a 37-year-old Ryan moves through the 15th season of his professional career, the sense of desperation for a long-term solution under center in Indianapolis is likely to grow.

The Colts could use their first round pick in 2023 — projected in several mock drafts to fall somewhere in the high 20s — to select a quarterback. However, that’s the same exact area of the draft in which the Packers selected Love. The difference is Love has two years backing up Rodgers under his belt, as opposed to a rookie who has never taken an NFL snap.

A better move for the Colts is arguably to part with their top overall pick for the rights to Love’s rookie contract, which will remain affordable over at least the next two seasons. Should the relationship go south, Love would also be a shorter commitment in overall years than the Colts would make to a rookie they select in the first round.

Packers Can Sell High on Jordan Love This Season

Jordan Love

GettyQuarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (left) and Jordan Love (right) of the Green Bay Packers.

A team like the Colts makes sense as a trade partner for Love considering their situation under center. Other organizations, however, could move to the forefront in the coming months due to injury or poor quarterback play. Green Bay can maximize Love’s trade value through increased demand at the QB position, as the regular season will inevitably bring with it plenty of both.

Love produced a 13 for 24 effort for 176 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers on August 12. He also threw three interceptions, though Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, noted he “felt bad” for Love due to unfortunate breaks. Those bad breaks included two passes tipped by wide receivers into the hands of waiting defenders.

“It might look bad on the stat sheet with three picks, but the film tells a very different story,” Rodgers said, per Ryan Wood of USA Today.

Combined with Love’s performance against the Saints last Friday and the comments coming out of Packers camp as to his consistent level of play, the QB may look like a solid short-term and long-term option for more than half a dozen franchises before the season hits its midway point.

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