The Packers somehow, someway, not only picked a quarterback in the first round, they traded up for one.
Aaron Rodgers should be absolutely incensed. The Packers have once again overlooked a deficient roster to take a player who is not going to do a thing for the team’s Hall-of-Fame quarterback. It has been well established that throughout Rodgers’ career, the Packers have not taken the fortune they had in his availability to them seriously. Ted Thompson famously left the roster out to dry year after year.
Brian Gutekunst has been a bit better. He’s now traded up in the first round in all three of his drafts in charge of the Packers and has signed nine players to free-agent contracts in three years. But, the quantum leap the Packers made in the first round to pick the Utah State quarterback should make Rodgers demand a trade.
The transaction in and of itself is silly. The Packers inexplicably felt they couldn’t wait to take Love and jumped ahead of four teams that all did not need quarterbacks. The Dolphins had already drafted Tua Tagovailoa. The Seahawks have Russell Wilson. The Ravens have Lamar Jackson. The Titans just committed over $100 million to Ryan Tannehill. And somehow, the Packers felt the only player they wanted to move up for wouldn’t make it to them at number 30.
With glaring problems at wide receiver, tight end, right tackle, middle linebacker, cornerback, and defensive tackle, in other words, most of the roster, the Packers opted for a quarterback who threw only 20 touchdowns in a pass-happy offense with 17 interceptions. Nice work!
Gutekunst and his staff are a smart group of people. This move was clearly geared towards sending a direct message to the quarterback who has carried the Packers on his back for 12 straight seasons.
What exactly is that message? Well, it appears to be an incoherent one. The Packers cannot even trade or cut Rodgers until 2023 at the earliest given the contract they themselves recently signed him to. That means Jordan Love will get his erratic accuracy under control by holding a clipboard and watching Rodgers continue to throw to one of the worst receiving corps in football.
Did the Packers help solve their eternal problem at inside linebacker with Patrick Queen? Nope. Did they get even a semblance of a number two receiver with Tee Higgins? Nope. Did they draft a replacement for when Ricky Wagner inevitably gets benched with Josh Jones? Nope. No, they shrewdly worked the phones all throughout Thursday night and added a player they objectively won’t want to see on the field for three seasons.
Before anybody even goes there, this is not even close to what happened when the Packers drafted Rodgers with Brett Favre still on the team. Favre had been waffling about retirement for years and had not recently signed a contract extension. Furthermore, while Rodgers’ play has slipped some, it is worth remembering that other than Davante Adams, his receivers stink. Favre’s play had slipped some, and his receivers were among the best in football.
Rodgers last year was working with a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, and awful receiving threats. He was still a top-10 quarterback at worst. The receivers are going to be even worse in 2021 if you can believe it, as Jimmy Graham, as disappointing as he was in Green Bay, moved on.
Rodgers would be completely justified in demanding a trade from the Packers, and seeing how this franchise, under the unsteady stewardship of Mark Murphy, notably a former defensive back in the NFL, will fare.
This also reeks of Gutekunst attempting to have his superstar moment in the NFL. Clearly, Love has enough potential in Green Bay’s eyes to be one of the all-time great quarterbacks, like the one still under contract.
Let’s spell it out for the Packers. Jordan Love, who was traded up for, better be nothing short of the next first-ballot Hall-of-Fame Packers quarterback, or this is yet another example of a franchise wasting away the most gifted quarterback of all time.