Packers' decision on Jordan Love extension isn't as straightforward as it seems

Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love
Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

It seems like a simple question, right? Should the Green Bay Packers sign quarterback Jordan Love to an extension this offseason? While on the surface it appears a yes or no answer would suffice, it is a bit more complicated than a one-syllable answer without explanation.

It was a bit of a bumpy start for Love, but he did eventually show why he appears to be the next in the continuous line of outstanding quarterback play in Green Bay. In an ideal world, Love continues his upward trajectory performance-wise, but that is not always the case.

Love came into last season as a relatively unknown commodity with just 157 offensive snaps to his name. While there may have been a good idea of what Love is internally, that did not apply to those outside of the organization.

With a full season's worth of film now available, opposing defenses will be able to adjust to his tendencies in an attempt to force him to play left-handed, the ultimate goal of any defense. It is going to be up to Love and head coach Matt LaFleur to ensure that they adjust to the adjustment and ensure the Packers' offense is set up for success.

The lack of a lengthy track record with Love and not knowing how he will handle the new ways that defenses will try to attack him could make the Packers a bit hesitant to sign him to an extension at this moment in time. A longer track record of Love's performance could possibly lead to a less risk-averse approach by the Packers.

However, considering this is the most important position in sports, signing a quarterback to a contract with a large financial commitment can cause other problems if things do not work out, so it would be hard to argue with a wait-and-see approach.

Packers' competitive timeline gets pushed up

From the moment that a quarterback signs an extension and goes from being on a rookie contract to one with a larger dollar figure attached, it immediately starts the clock on their competitive timeline.

While there are a lot of positives to take away from last season, including qualifying for the postseason and winning a playoff game, big picture-wise, the Packers may be better off waiting to see another successful season with Love at the helm rather than prematurely agreeing to an extension which may not work out.

It could very well end up costing the Packers more by taking this approach, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Waiting an extra year to have a definitive answer rather than making a long-term deal while being pretty sure can be beneficial. Having as much information to work with when negotiating a deal is always a smart way to do business.

Additionally, there have been plenty of cases of teams agreeing to extensions with quarterbacks too early in their careers, only for those deals to blow up in their faces. No one can blame the front office if they would prefer to allow things to play out rather than rush into an extension at this time.

State of the NFC North

The state of affairs in the NFC North is definitely something that must be taken into consideration by the Packers. Even though Green Bay appears to be in a state of stability, ignoring the other teams in the division cannot happen.

While there are two teams in a state of rebuild (Chicago and Minnesota), Detroit is on top and should remain there for at least another season. This puts Green Bay in a position where it may be best to wait one more year.

The Bears and Vikings are both in a position where they are looking to draft their next (hopeful) franchise quarterback, and the timeline to find out if they were successful in that quest is at least two years. Meanwhile, the Lions are trying to maximize their current competitive window and are going all-in to win their first-ever Super Bowl.

This means that right now may not be the best time for Green Bay to follow suit. Instead, they could wait a year before extending Love and build the best roster around him while he is still on his inexpensive rookie contract. Taking this course of action would put the Packers in a position to reclaim their rightful place atop the division when the time is right and not give it back for the foreseeable future.

Stability and avoiding self-sabotage

While the reasons up to this point have not been in favor of extending Jordan Love at this time, this would be one that supports that idea.

Finding a way to ensure stability at the most important and most expensive position in all of sports is an absolute must. Taking too long to agree with Love on an extension that will keep him long-term could backfire. Players like to know they are appreciated and valued by their organization.

Kicking the can down the road and attempting to take care of the issue later rather than sooner can result in a player feeling that they are not valued or appreciated. Avoiding that at (almost) all costs is something the Packers must consider.

Failing to keep what could be the next great, long-tenured Packers quarterback in town due to mismanaging contract talks would be absolutely catastrophic for the organization. So many teams league-wide have been navigating the waters of quarterback uncertainty, being forced to go with underwhelming retreads and players who clearly are not the savior they are looking for. Green Bay has put themselves in a situation where they avoided that entire mess by again finding, at bare minimum, an adequate successor to a future Hall of Fame quarterback.

There are plenty of reasons to not extend Jordan Love this offseason, but not committing an act of self-sabotage by not doing so should take priority over all of them. The Packers' three-plus decades of success at the quarterback position is the envy of the entire sport. There is no reason to put that in jeopardy or ruin it by not agreeing to a new deal with Love when it is wise to do so.

Green Bay must not overthink its current situation by ensuring its present and future success is locked in with a new contract for its franchise quarterback.

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