The Green Bay Packers made a pivotal decision when they selected quarterback Jordan Love with the No. 26 overall pick. Instead of surrounding Aaron Rodgers with more weapons to potentially win a second Super Bowl, the Packers drafted his successor.
Now, amid growing speculation about how long Rodgers will be in Green Bay and what kind of relationship he’ll have with Love, one of Rodgers’ former teammates and great friends has weighed in.
A.J. Hawk came into the NFL just a year after Rodgers and they were teammates from 2006-’15, while remaining great friends to this day. During an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, Hawk opened up about Rodgers’ relationship with Love and the difficulties that the organization just created for their franchise quarterback.
“I think Aaron’s relationship with Jordan Love will be great. Aaron will be open with him,” A.J. Hawk said, via NBC Sports. “I think the frustrating part for him, and for the organization, will be this story will not go away after the first press conference for Aaron when the team finally is back together. It’ll keep coming up—not just this year. It probably doesn’t help that [Rodgers and LaFleur] probably won’t be in the same room for a while.”
Rodgers already reached out to Love to congratulate his newest teammate and welcome him to the NFL. The 36-year-old quarterback is very familiar with the position Love is walking into, given he experienced the same situation after the Packers drafted him in 2005 to learn behind Brett Favre.
Before the 2020 NFL Draft, Rodgers made it clear he would beat out any quarterback the team brought in. While he might not completely embrace being a mentor, given he still needs to focus his energy on being the starter, his familiarity with Love’s situation should make him a better teammate and guide than he experienced with Favre.
However, the problems Green Bay’s front office created are undeniable. Suddenly, a quarterback who wanted to finish his career in Green Bay now finds himself mentioned in rampant trade rumors. When players report for training camp, Rodgers will also have to deal with even more questions from reporters about his future, his newest teammate and the decision made by the organization.
Whether the Packers drafted love simply to prepare for a future without Rodgers or to send him a message, the damage is done. The speculation and questions will keep mounting until Rodgers plays his final snap in Green Bay. The relationship between the quarterbacks could be great, but it seems likely the same won’t be said for Rodgers’ feelings toward the organization.