The Green Bay Packers are 4-7 and while the less-than-stellar performance of their quarterback isn’t quite at the top of the list for reasons for their record, is it time to see what Jordan Love is made of? The answer to this question is not so simple.
Obviously the Packers are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but it looks like they’re all but done for this season. To simplify things, barring any terrible injuries we have no chance of seeing Love play until the Green Bay Packers are eliminated from playoffs. Even with a thumb injury where all signs point to a full on fracture, the Packers seem bullish on keeping Rodgers in at QB even if his thumb makes him a liability. Looking further than a mathematically lost season, however, it’s possible that even then we will not see number 10 play for the Packers ever again.
Is Jordan Love Trade Bait?
It is possible that with the extension of Aaron Rodgers last season the front office closed the door on Jordan Love being the future of the franchise at the quarterback position. It is possible, though who knows how likely, that the coaching staff and GM believe at this point that Jordan Love is not a good quarterback. If that were the case head coach Matt Lafleur would only serve to hurt Love’s potential trade stock in the future if he allows him to start games at QB and underperform.
If the Packers are mathematically eliminated from playoffs and Rodgers continues start, the only real conclusion we can draw is that the team wants to build chemistry between the current QB and the offensive talent around him. With that being said, if this occurs there will be some reason to believe that the Packers don’t intend on keeping Jordan Love around.
With it already being the 2020 first round draft pick’s third year in the league, the clock is ticking on getting him some serious playing time before his fifth year option is on the table. Obviously you can’t extend a first round pick who hasn’t played, but you also can’t let him walk in free agency either. The options are to play Love at some point this season or next, or to trade him, or some combination of the two. However, if things go well and the Packers are playing at a high level next year, you really can’t start Love at that time, either. The options when thought about more critically are either to play Love at some point this season or to trade him away at some point in the next six to ten months.
Assuming Aaron Rodgers sticks around for one more season in 2023, the only other choice would to be sign Jordan Love’s fifth year option without ever getting him extensive regular season time. This is unprecedented, but not impossible. A “prove-it” type deal in a first rounder’s fifth year isn’t unusual, but when you consider that the player may only have a game and some change worth of regular season experience at that point, it’s certainly unfamiliar territory. One season in 2024 may be all that the Packers need to make a commitment to Love, but leaving yourself with that small of a window to evaluate a player comes with risks; season ending injury being the scariest of them.
Will Love Play This Season?
Honestly, no one really knows if Love will start a game this year. If Aaron Rodgers’ likely broken thumb hasn’t dissuaded the Packers from rolling with the back to back MVP, you can’t be sure what will.
It is probably best if Love plays at least three or four games once the season is fully lost for a few reasons. Playing Love gives you a chance to further evaluate your former first round pick, and it gives your injured starter some rest and a chance to avoid injuries that may hinder him if he decides to play another season in 2023.
It’s hard to try to guess what the Packers’ plans are when it comes to the future of their quarterback position, but we’ll at least learn a little bit more about their mindset once we see if Jordan Love hits the field for extensive time by the end of the current NFL season.