The Green Bay Packers are quickly approaching two major decisions to begin the off-season. Coincidentally, both decisions the Packers need to make will occur at the quarterback position. These decisions are soon to occur with quarterback Aaron Rodgers beginning his trek into the darkness at some point this week. No matter what Rodgers decides following his return to the light, the Packers will need to figure out their options with quarterback Jordan Love.

Fifth-Year Option

When the Packers selected Love with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft there were a lot of mixed reactions to the expected heir at the position joining the roster. That was before Rodgers went on to win back-to-back MVP awards in the following two seasons. After finishing his third season in the NFL, Love has just one start to his name along with very limited opportunities to see the field.

The Packers have to make a decision soon on Love’s future going into his fourth season. The first option the Packers can consider is picking up his fifth-year option, a similar decision the Packers made twice last off-season (Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage). As a first-round selection, Love’s contract includes the fifth-year option the Packers can choose to extend or not. As Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer laid out last week, the salary of a player’s fifth-year option is determined by the following factors: Multiple Pro Bowls, One Pro Bowl, Playtime, and Basic.

Love qualifies for the basic category meaning that the fifth-year option price tag at the quarterback position will be $20.272 million. As a starting quarterback, $20.272 million is not a bad price tag for an organization to pay. However, as a backup in the event that Rodgers returns, that price tag would be foolish. If the Packers elect to take this route, a decision will first have to be made on Rodgers and then the Packers will have until the May 1 deadline to pick up the fifth-year option.


If the Packers elect not to pick up Love’s fifth-year option and play out his fourth year next season, the next alternative to keep him in Green Bay would obviously be to extend him. However, this of course depends on how the 2023-24 season goes and on Rodgers’ future decision. By rolling the dice on Love’s fourth year, the Packers could extend Love with a contract that could provide a smaller cap cost than what the fifth-year option would provide. If Love enters next season as the starter and performs much higher than expected, the Packers could up the money on the deal and lock in their new long-term quarterback.

Nov 13, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) during warmups prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Since the new version of the Collective Bargaining Agreement has taken effect, only two total quarterbacks have had their fifth-year option declined in the last two years; Josh Rosen and Daniel Jones. Rosen has since appeared on seven different rosters and is currently a free agent. The situation with Jones is most likely to be the upcoming situation with Love. Jones just finished his roll of the dice season in his fourth year and is now expected to receive an extension in New York following a bounce-back year.

The best option for the Packers seems to be agreeing to a three-year extension that will come in below the $20.272 million per year that comes with the fifth-year option. This will give the Packers either a low-end starting quarterback contract or a high-end backup quarterback contract to work with. After the second year of that deal, the Packers can then renegotiate depending on his performance after that time. However, it’s unlikely that Love re-signs in Green Bay for another season sitting behind Rodgers if he returns.


That leads us to our third and final option the Packers can consider when dealing with Love, and perhaps the most uncertain option out of them all. If Rodgers decides to make his return and play out the remainder of his career in Green Bay, Love will likely request a trade.

A potential trade for Love would be interesting and likely difficult to accomplish given his limited action during his time in the NFL. Teams interested in Love would only have one full game of regular season film along with a handful of other appearances such as this past season’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles to base their interest off of.

On top of that, the new team would essentially be taking on a quarterback playing on a one-year deal with an option for a second season priced over $20 million. That’s not even getting into the capital the Packers would be seeking in exchange for their former first-round pick. Overall, this seems like the most unlikely avenue for the Packers to take but it’s certainly possible if Rodgers elects to return.

Love’s future in the NFL and with the Green Bay Packers is going to be an intriguing storyline to follow over the next few weeks. However, the Packers will first need to make another franchise-defining choice once Rodgers reveals his future aspirations following his darkness retreat.


Kole Noble is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in North Carolina and is a huge NFL Draft nut. You can follow him on twitter at @SlawSportsShow.