fbpx

What Jordan Love’s ‘long way to go’ means for potential Aaron Rodgers trade

The Green Bay Packers recently suggested Jordan Love isn't close to ready if he has to succeed Aaron Rodgers in 2021. Wow. Let's unpack that one.

The Green Bay Packers are on the verge of a messy divorce from superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and given their recent stance on his eventual successor, Jordan Love, they may be in a world of trouble if and when the reigning NFL MVP leaves Titletown.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, let’s say, tempered expectations surrounding Love in recent remarks about how prepared the young QB is to step in and start, per The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman:

He’s got a long way to go. […] Obviously we think the world of Jordan and where he’s going to grow and develop. I think it’s pretty early to be able to tell you that.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst on Jordan Love’s development, potential to start soon

Succeeding Rodgers, and Brett Favre before him, is going to be no easy task for Love, particularly if it happens in 2021.

For sake of brevity, some of Gutekunst’s comments above were omitted, but he did touch on how tough it was for Love as a rookie with no preseason, such limited reps and no live game action during Rodgers’ 2020 campaign.

But as a first-round prospect who Green Bay traded up to get, you’d hope the forecast was a little brighter for Love even at this early stage. Instead, the Packers seem to recognize Love may not be ready to roll in Year 2.

The QBs drafted before Love in Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, all saw significant action as rookies under the adverse, pandemic-induced circumstances. Tagovailoa was the least pro-ready, yet he still posted a 6-3 starting record.

Will Aaron Rodgers end his career in Green Bay?

Packers’ lack of faith in Jordan Love disturbing for Aaron Rodgers trade prospects

Anyone who can afford to get Rodgers on their team is probably going to call the Packers to kick the tires on a potential trade offer. As of right now, it seems like the Denver Broncos are the leaders in the clubhouse if a deal does, in fact, go down.

Getting tons of compensation for Rodgers won’t be the issue. What’s more unsettling is the fact that Love is such an unknown commodity at this point.

Those close to Love have recently compared him favorably to Rodgers, Herbert and even Patrick Mahomes when it comes to his potential. Love is such a wild card at this point, though, that obviously the team doesn’t have a ton of faith he can win right away in 2021.

This is all so problematic. Star receiver Davante Adams is entering a contract year and hinted that he might be on the way out of Green Bay if Rodgers is gone. There would go Love’s potential go-to target of the future on a team riddled with no-name receivers.

What’s more, the Packers would be getting rid of a generational QB in Rodgers after he carried them to two straight appearances in the NFC Championship Game. If Love falls short of that mark, much less doesn’t lead Green Bay to the playoffs, he’ll be scrutinized to no end.

In the modern NFL, where cheap rookie contracts are at a premium, particularly at the quarterback position, it behooves the Packers to accelerate things, move off Rodgers and start Love. However, such a strategy has such a high risk of backfiring.

Related: NFL Power Rankings – 2021 outlook before training camp

Packers need Jordan Love insurance after Aaron Rodgers trade

Packers need Jordan Love insurance after Aaron Rodgers trade
Dec 19, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock (3) warms up before game against the Buffalo Bills at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

If the Packers can somehow swing a Rodgers trade that involves them getting another quarterback, they’ll be so much better off. Rolling with Love and signing modest backups is going to magnify the pressure on the young signal-caller.

It could be argued that Love should be able to handle all this, yet this is a truly unique situation in Green Bay. The organization has not positioned him for success whatsoever. His whole development has been thrown off, never mind the immense drama the Pack’s handling of Rodgers has generated.

Since the Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders are favored to land Rodgers, it stands to reason any trade package would involve someone like Denver’s Drew Lock or Las Vegas veteran Derek Carr.

The Raiders field general would love to step in to lead a team that was one win away from the Super Bowl the past two years and actually has a decent defense. On the other hand, Carr’s presence would put Love on the back burner, whereas Lock and Love could have a legitimate QB competition, and may the best man win.

All this is so fascinating, and amid a stale period of the NFL offseason, with the exception of the impending schedule release, until a resolution comes about with Rodgers, Love and Green Bay, this storyline won’t go away at all.

Related: Top 20 NFL QB Rankings – Tom Brady’s the GOAT, but which MVP is No. 2?