Packers HC, GM On Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love

The Packers caused quite a stir on Thursday night when they traded up to the No. 26 overall pick to select polarizing Utah State QB Jordan Love. Right away, the NFL world was buzzing about what the move means for Aaron Rodgers‘ future and — perhaps just as importantly — how Rodgers would react.

Head coach Matt LaFleur was asked about those issues on Saturday, and as expected, he tried to downplay the drama as much as possible.

“Aaron is a pro, and he’s the leader of our football team, and I anticipate that for a really long time,” LaFleur said (via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). “I have so much respect for him not only as a player but the person, and some of the stuff that nobody sees. So I can’t tell you how much I like working with him.”

LaFleur, though, declined to say what he meant by “a really long time.” Rodgers, 36, is under contract through the 2023 season, and while he experienced something of a decrease in production in 2019, he was still effective and continues to look the part of a top-tier signal-caller. He has yet to speak publicly on the Love pick, but given that Green Bay made an aggressive move to select his potential successor and did little to upgrade his cadre of pass catching weapons, you can be sure that he is none too pleased.

Of course, Love is now in a very similar situation to the one that Rodgers was in when A-Rod was selected in the first round of the 2005 draft: a surprise pick who will be groomed behind a curmudgeonly legend with the unenviable task of ultimately replacing said legend. It obviously worked out for Rodgers, but we probably won’t know how it will work out for Love for a couple of years.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst was also asked about a potential Rodgers-to-Love succession. “The reason that back when we moved from Brett [Favre] to Aaron was because of what Aaron had done his first three years here, and that’s got to happen with Jordan,” Gutekunst said. “He has to be able to do the work and he has to do that for us to make us believe that he can be a starting quarterback in the National Football League. We drafted him in the first round, we certainly think he has that kind of talent. But that’s not enough in the National Football League. You’ve got to work, you’ve got to earn it, you’ve got to become a good enough player.”

Rodgers is scheduled to carry a cap charge of over $39MM in 2022. Although Green Bay would have to absorb a significant dead money hit by releasing him prior to that season, it would also save about $22MM of cap space by doing so. So if Love progresses as the Packers hope, it would not be surprising to see them make the same difficult, but possibly necessary, transition at that time.

“Again, we have one of the best to ever lace them up, and we’re shooting for championships for as long as he’s here, and we expect him to be here for quite a while,” Gutekunst said. His definition of “quite a while,” and LaFleur’s definition of “a long time,” may be about the same: two years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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41 comments on “Packers HC, GM On Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love

  1. JJB0811

    Should have traded him when his contract was done a year ago then. He would have netted a few picks and players in return.

    • brewcrew08

      He still will. Trade him before 2022 season. He will have 2yr/51M left for the team acquiring him and the packers will save nearly 22M in cap space for 2022. Probably get 2-3 decent picks back for Rodgers and that frees up a huge chunk to re-sign guys like D-Bak, Jones, Clark, Alexander and King.

  2. metsie1

    This is the type of move made by good organizations. By the time Love is ready Aaron Rodgers will be at or over 40 years old. Not many great examples of guys going past 40 and being effective. Some teams have been looking for a QB for a lifetime. Not Green Bay. The Packers identified a guy that they really like and drafted him. As always, they better be right. Then again, every pick has that risk.

      • rocky7

        And where does Tampa Bay, who obviously is all in to win, go with Brady’s replacement (who they don’t have on the roster) in 2 years, and do you really think Taysome Hill is going to be the answer to Brees in New Orleans next year, especially if he is used in the same role this year as last? Just good due diligence by the Packers looking into the future…..Rogers just seems to want it all his way all the time.

        • wordonthestreet

          Well Rocky where does Green Bay ho THIS year? The idea is to win. They have a HOF QB who lead them to the NFC championship just last year. Rather than try to win now with Rodgers they completely punt so they can maybe win in 3 years without Rodgers?

          Packers blew it big time!

      • metsie1

        Yes and look at New England. Belichick was just quoted as saying that not drafting a QB yesterday was “not by design”. So Brady who lost a home playoff game and the left or was it “allowed to leave”.

        Brees? Did you not see Brees struggle in a playoff loss at home vs Minnesota?

        Both have had great careers but Father Time is undefeated.

    • JJB0811

      Then they wasted a 1st round pick that will be riding the pine for 4 years, according to you.

      • The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant

        If you think a franchise QB is a waste of a 1st round pick, then you clearly used to be the GM of the Browns.

      • brewcrew08

        No they won’t. They will trade Rodgers before 2022 to save 22M on the cap. Love will still have 2 years plus his 5th year option. Rodgers will have solid trade value too with 2/51M left on his deal.

          • bdpecore

            Who cares about the dead money when your quarterback is still on his rookie deal and you just received multiple picks for trading away Rodgers? Teams will always be stuck with dead money when trades take place involving players on larger deals. If this move keeps the Packers window open for another decade then it’s worth the short term financial burden a trade would leave on the books for a couple years.

          • brewcrew08

            The dead money is 17M in 2022. Rodgers cap hit is 40M. Which would you rather have?

  3. phillyballers

    Quoted on the selection:

    Aaron: “Love It.”
    Love: “Roger That.”

  4. afsooner02

    Worst packer draft since 89. First two rounds are players that will bust and also were NOT needed.

    • meiertj

      My guess is that they know that Aaron Jones wants more than they are willing to give him, so they drafted Dillon. Bahktiari and Kenny Clark are FA after 2020, so Jones is the odd man out.

      • brewcrew08

        This concept shouldn’t be too tough. It’s much easier to pay Jones with a RB on a rookie deal behind him. You let Williams walk. Rodgers gets moved before 2022 and you save nearly 22M on the cap that year. That means you easily have enough money to resign Jones, D-Bak and Clark plus King. Lindsley at Center will be the odd man out.

        • Skullking

          Clark, Bak, Jones, King, and Lindsay are FA in 21. You only get the 22M cap space from Rodgers if you trade him in 22. If you trade/cut Rodgers in 21, you only get 5M back. How does moving Rodgers help you create cap space for those guys?

    • twentyforty

      Clueless. This was all about organizational shift. And you haven’t been watching the steady decline of Rodgers whose deep ball accuracy is a joke and refusal to throw over the middle detrimental to the offense. Change is hard but in this case necessary…and sooner than you think.

        • brewcrew08

          If you think Dillon is going to be a bust you haven’t seen how physically gifted he is. The book is open on Love but the packers have to get someone in the system.

    • crosseyedlemon

      The Packers ability to access QB talent should never be criticized too harshly. In 1956 they used the 200th pick to get a guy called Bart Starr. I hear he had a pretty good career.

  5. Natergater77

    So, if Love becomes the next Aaron Rodgers in 4 years everyone here will say they called it and loved the pick at the time.

    If he becomes the next Aaron Brooks everyone saying they like it will say they never wanted that pick.

    How bout no one knows how good Love will be and no one knows when Rodgers will be done? Armchair GMs smh

  6. Lars MacDonald

    Whether or not Love is their future QB, moving up for him seemed like a panic move. Unless they truly knew that some team wanted Love and was going to jump in front of them, it made no sense (I can’t think of any team who needed a QB and would have given up the needed draft capital to get to 26, 27, 28 or 29). That 4th rounder they gave up could have been a talented player.

    Also, it was malpractice to not grab a WR in this draft. There was so much talent and GB had a clear need.

    • lambeau gang

      I agree that they didn’t need to trade up to #26. The teams GB jumped ahead of were Miami (who just got Tua), Seattle (Russ), Baltimore (reigning MVP Lamar Jackson), and Tennessee (Tannehill and his brand-new big-money contract). There was no reason for GB to trade up when those teams weren’t looking for a qb, especially not Love. That 4th rounder should’ve been used to trade up for Mims, who almost fell to the Packers in round 2.

      • bdpecore

        It’s not about who was on the board ahead of them but the teams who might be looking to trade back into the round to draft Love since the team gains a 5th year option on any first round picks.

    • twentyforty

      You do realize that difference making rookie WR impact in the NFL is extremely rare. And in a season when offseason work will be significantly reduced, expecting a WR to make a difference in 2020 is foolish at best.

      • crosseyedlemon

        Good observation and you could have also mentioned that the highly regarded rookie WRs don’t get the opportunities to shine on special team returns like they did years ago (before salaries went crazy).

      • earmbrister

        What a load. In a draft with a historic wealth of WRs, GB drafted exactly NONE.

  7. Afk711

    The Packers draft was a complete disaster. This team was on the cusp of a super bowl and they spend their first two picks on a player that is 4 years away at best and a RB who they didn’t need. And 0 WRs in a loaded draft. ZERO. Rodgers should demand a trade.

    • cmtaylor98

      They should have stayed at 39, if love was there take him. If not grab the best WR or move down. The guy I really wanted was Van Jefferson, he can really run routes & get open. ESQ, MVS, and pretty much every other WR minus DeVante can’t run routes or get open. They need a Jordy type of WR and that is what Jefferson is, minus the great speed, good speed just not great. Then it was Bowden from Kentucky, last guy they took from KY l, who was a Part time QB turned out pretty good.

      Really wish they moved out & got another 2nd & maybe a 4th then could have moved up again in the 2nd if they wanted & addresses real needs not 4 years form
      Now needs.

    • brewcrew08

      Dillon will our 2nd back paired with Jones next season. Not to mention we were terrible on 3rd and 2 or less last year. I think giving it to Dillon a couple times will help that. There are also confirmed reports that teams like the lions and colts were looking to move back into the first round. What do both of those teams need? QB’s. The best time to draft a QB is when you don’t need one. Should they wait till next years draft when it’s only Lawrence and Fields and the packers will be too good to get either of them? Then all the sudden it’s 2022 before you even look at a QB.

  8. crosseyedlemon

    I’m a Bears fan but I think the Packers are taking a very sensible approach in looking at the big picture as it relates to their QB position in the future. It’s not always easy to keep emotions out of these decisions but it’s almost always better in the long run if you do.

  9. twentyforty

    What makes any of you arm chair rubes think any of the WRs in this draft are any better than the three they drafted two years ago? Because shills like Kiper, McShay or some other oaf does? Please. You can’t keep drafting over at a position or you’ll be left with nothing everywhere. There is plenty of WR talent in GB for an offense that will be run heavy and play action dependent. This is no longer the Aaron Rodgers winging it show. It’s not the talent at WR that is concerning…it’s the decline of Rodgers that is the issue. Just watch the film.

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