When the Green Bay Packers drafted Jordan Love, they were effectively starting a countdown clock to the end of Aaron Rodgers’ time with the team.
But it’s hard to imagine their plan was to make the transition in 2021. Especially after Rodgers won his third NFL MVP award last season. Rodgers’ contract structure also makes little sense to move on now.
That was, of course, until ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Rodgers doesn’t want to return back in April. Rodgers’ absence from OTAs only seems to back that up.
Not only is the question about whether Rodgers will play for the Packers again, but if not, is it Love’s time?
The Packers wanted to give Love time to develop. He was the team’s third-string QB in 2020 and was inactive for the entire season, not something we often see with first-round picks.
It’s hard to review Love’s 2020 season as he didn’t play a snap, and the Covid-19 pandemic also meant there was no preseason. As the third-string QB, there were also fewer opportunities for Love to get reps on the practice field.
The season was about development and learning, and he had a front-row seat for Rodgers’ MVP year. Not a bad situation for Love to be part of and he would’ve learned a lot. And so far this offseason, Love has been praised for the progress he’s made.
Will he make the roster?
Yes. That’s the easy question to answer. Will he start or be a backup? That’s not as simple.
What to expect in 2021
It’s encouraging to hear Matt LaFleur’s comments about Love’s development from year one to two, but it’s far too early to know whether he’s ready to be a starter in the NFL.
If not, the Packers would be smart to keep him as a the number two QB, behind either Rodgers or Blake Bortles. But if they see enough over the summer to believe he’s ready, Rodgers’ future would determine whether it’s time for the Love era to begin.
If Rodgers returns, it’s his team. But if he either decides not to play or the Packers trade him, it’ll be up to Love to show the coaching staff over the summer that he’s ready to lead the offense.