Aaron Rodgers once again made waves across the NFL world this week, announcing that he would be returning the Packers next season. Reports were that he signed a massive, 4 year $200 mil extension that would tie him to Green Bay for likely the rest of his career. The question then becomes, what do the Packers do with Jordan Love? They obviously invested a lot of draft capital – a 1st and 4th round pick – to trade up to select him as the heir apparent to Rodgers. But the Rodgers extension should signal the end for Love in Green Bay. And in order for the Packers to maximize the return for Love, they need to trade him before draft night.
They would be best served to take advantage of what is considered a weak quarterback draft class. Even though Love is now 2 years removed from his own draft day, he’s younger than projected first round pick Kenny Pickett, and only 6 months older than Malik Willis – who will likely be the first QB taken. Love was seen as a raw prospect coming out of Utah State, but having 2 years under Matt LaFleur and Rodgers’ tutelage should be a plus. And any team trading for Love would still have 2 years on his rookie deal with a 5th year option available.
Despite the recent trades of Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz to Denver and Washington, respectively, there are still plenty of QB needy teams. So much so that ESPN reported that Mitch Trubisky may command more than $10 mil in free agency. But if the Packers wait until after the draft to try and shop Love, his value will plummet. Both Indianapolis and New Orleans are teams that reportedly had interest in Love in 2020 – and both will need a QB.
The Colts don’t have first round pick thanks to the original Carson Wentz trade from Philadelphia – but picked swapped 2nd round picks this year and added a 2022 and 2023 3rd round pick. If they like Love more than any quarterback that could be available at pick #42, they could trade that pick to the Packers and still have two 3rd round picks available.
A 2nd round pick will likely be the best the Packers could get for Love now, but adding a top-50 player or having the arsenal to move up in the first round would be tantalizing for Brian Gutekunst. He has already shown that he is not afraid to move on from draft picks too soon, and his best bet now is to cut ties with Love and get as much as he can in return to try and find another player that can make an impact now.——————
Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.