Skip to main content

3 reasons why Green Bay Packers must shut down Aaron Rodgers, start Jordan Love

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, JORDAN Love

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is now dealing with a significant rib injury and an avulsion fracture in his right thumb, the latest setback in a disappointing season. The latest injury should also be a turning point for the franchise.

The Packers’ playoff chances are minimal at this point and it was evident weeks ago that the franchise’s Super Bowl window closed. In a year with so many things going wrong for the franchise as both the offense and defense fall short of expectations, the Packers’ organization now faces a pivotal decision.

Related: Green Bay Packers schedule

There is an undying loyalty to Rodgers, arguably the greatest quarterback in Packers’ history. He sustained a level of excellence and led one of the NFL’s dynasties for more than a decade. While the devotion to the 38-year-old quarterback is understandable, this season demonstrated why it’s time for Green Bay to prepare for its future.

While Rodgers wants to keep playing, there are far bigger things at stake than stats and a drive to compete. If Green Bay wants to do the right thing, it’s time to put Rodgers on injured reserve and start Love and there are plenty of reasons behind that decision.

1. Green Bay Packers need to prepare for future

Syndication: PackersNews

If the 2023 NFL Draft was held today, Green Bay would hold the 9th overall pick. It’s an incredibly valuable position for this front office. Consider that the last time the Packers held a top-10 pick came in the 2009 NFL Draft, when they drafted B.J. Raji with the ninth pick.

Green Bay desperately needs blue-chip talent and the 2023 draft class is perfect for them. With quarterbacks Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Will Levis projected top-10 picks, an elite prospect at a position of need could fall to Green Bay.

Clemson defensive lineman Myles Murphy or Bryan Bresee would be a massive addition to Green Bay’s defense. Entering December, the Packers ranked 11th in pressure rate (22%), 21st in sacks (24) and they have the second-worst run defense (154.8 rush ypg) in the NFL.

Green Bay could also shore up its option in two different ways. Either general manager Brian Gutekunst can target Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski – who is outstanding in pass protection – or he can snag TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston. The 6-foot-4 receiver feels like an unprecedented offensive weapon, with a combination of size, YAC ability and shiftiness that goes beyond rare.

Starting Love and allowing him to go through the growing pains puts Green Bay in a better position to improve its draft slot. The biggest influence of that will be felt in Round 1, but it would also mean three top-75 picks. Holding that would be especially valuable for a front office with a terrible track record with its picks late in Round 3.

2. Jordan Love deserves a chance to prove himself

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve seen plenty of reports about Love in recent years. The prospect Gutekunst was adamant about trading up for has played a combined 150 snaps in three seasons, with one start (63 snaps) accounting for a majority of those reps.

In that time, reports surfaced that Green Bay lost confidence in Love after the 2020 season and he fluctuated from glowing reports to alarming concerns about his performances in practice. Most recently, rumors hinted that Green Bay could only net a Day 3 pick if they traded him.

  • Jordan Love stats (career): 80.1 QB rating, 60% completion, 7.5 yards per attempt, 3-3 TD-INT, 27 rushing yards

The truth is, no one knows how to truly evaluate Love and that includes the Packers. There have been several very good players who struggled in practice and then flipped a switch in games and visa-versa. Unfortunately, Love’s only real chance to prove himself came in the preseason this year.

  • Jordan Love contract: $3.94 million salary (2023), 2024 team option ($20-plus million projected salary)

This is the only opportunity Green Bay will have to see whether or not Love is a viable starting quarterback. He displayed some nice flashes in Week 12, showing great timing on deep throws and excellent touch on darts to the sideline.

After going through so many of the same things Rodgers experienced as Brett Favre’s backup, Love deserves one shot to prove himself. The final five games can be a trial run for the 24-year-old with his performance dictating what path the Packers take in 2023.

3. Aaron Rodgers can no longer hold Green Bay hostage

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Rodgers will one day have a statue outside Lambeau Field with a future jersey retirement ceremony and montages of his incredible career in Green Bay. He was the most talented player in franchise history and it might take decades before the Packers reach the heights they experienced every season with Rodgers.

Just like with Favre, though, the Packers have been held hostage in some ways by Rodgers. After losing in the 2020 NFL playoffs, Rodgers called his future a beautiful mystery. Disgruntled with the front office, he threatened to leave the Packers for Jeopardy and heavily weighed walking away.

  • Aaron Rodgers contract: $31.62 million cap hit (2023), $16.2 million cap savings if pre-June 1 in 2024, $32.54 million cap saving if post-June 1 cut/trade

When Green Bay vowed to involve him in decisions regarding the 53-man roster, he agreed to play in 2021. Following another playoff exit, the future Hall of Famer again hinted at retirement and let it be known that he might welcome an opportunity to play elsewhere.

Wanting to keep the back-to-back NFL MVP, Green Bay made Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history. The four-year, $200 million contract tanked the franchise’s long-term cap flexibility and the deal meant a multi-year rebuild would be looming once he retired. All of this came in an effort to win a Lombardi Trophy for the first time since 2010.

  • Aaron Rodgers stats (2022): 92.9 QB rating, 21-9 TD-INT< 64.8% completion rate, 6.8 ypa

Catering to Rodgers’ every wish didn’t work out. In his last three playoff losses, the all-time great posted a 5-3 TD-INT ratio, with the offense averaging 18.6 ppg and disappearing in the fourth quarter.

The Packers did what Rodgers wanted the last two years and it didn’t get them any closer to a Lombardi Trophy. Now, their Super Bowl window is closed and they finally have an opportunity to evaluate Jordan Love in regular-season games. Whether Rodgers likes it or not doesn’t matter, Green Bay must make the move that is in its best interests. If Rodgers doesn’t approve of being shut down, he can retire or demand a trade this offseason.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: