Packers: Drafting Jordan Love looks like a terrible decision

Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love - Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love - Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Two years ago, the Green Bay Packers made a draft pick they knew was going to split opinion in the fanbase.

Despite reaching the NFC Championship Game just three months earlier, the Packers went against drafting a player to help in the short term but rather moved towards the future by selecting Aaron Rodgers’ potential successor, Jordan Love.

The idea makes sense. As Rodgers comes towards the end of his career, Love would develop and learn from a future Hall-of-Famer. It worked for Rodgers when he sat behind Brett Favre for three seasons.

Here’s the problem. At some point, Love needs to actually become the starter.

Unless it’s all a smokescreen, the Packers have made it crystal clear they want Rodgers back in 2022. Even more than that, in fact.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Packers are “prepared to go all in” next season, a move that would mean chasing a second Super Bowl ring with Rodgers but risking the salary cap down the line.

This comes following a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Green Bay is open to offering Rodgers “a deal that makes him the highest-paid QB in the NFL on a per-year basis”.

They would risk having to deal with some huge salary cap problems down the line for the chance to bring home the Lombardi Trophy in 2022.

That’s fine. The New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos have made similar moves in the past, and it paid off for Denver with a Super Bowl win in 2015. The Broncos haven’t been back to the playoffs since, but their all-in gamble worked.

But the Packers drafted Jordan Love in the first round and traded up to do so.

If the Packers extend Rodgers’ deal and go all in for 2022, where does this leave Love? Chances are, his rookie deal would be up before he’s even had a chance to become the starting quarterback in Green Bay.

When the Packers drafted Love, the offense had been just OK the prior season. Green Bay ranked 18th in offensive yards, 17th in passing, 15th in rushing, and 15th in scoring. Rodgers was very good, throwing for 26 touchdowns with only four interceptions, but not playing at the level we’ve seen the past two years.

Since then, Rodgers has been unstoppable with back-to-back MVP seasons and a combined 85 touchdowns with just nine picks.

In fairness to Green Bay, not even the most optimistic of fans could’ve predicted that.

But these decisions are often judged two, three years down the line. And here we are. At this stage, it seems the only way Love is the Packers’ starting QB is if Rodgers decides not to return to Green Bay. Unless it’s all just a smokescreen from the Packers, of course, and they actually intend to trade him.

If the team does go all in with Rodgers in 2022 and signs him to a new deal, the Jordan Love era is as good as over before it ever had a chance to begin. If he becomes a starting QB in the NFL, it would likely be elsewhere.

This isn’t to say Love can’t become a franchise QB. We simply don’t know yet. He hasn’t had that opportunity.

The Packers wouldn’t admit it or give a timeline, but they drafted Love to replace Rodgers, most likely by the 2022 season. That now seems to be in serious doubt.

The Packers took a risk by drafting Rodgers’ potential replacement two years ago. Back-to-back MVP seasons later and with the team rumored to be willing to go all in, the Love pick now looks like a terrible decision.