Green Bay Packers

Don't Rule Out the Packers Trading Love During the Draft

Photo Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Draft week is upon us, and for the Green Bay Packers, the talk of the town is not if they’ll take a wide receiver but how many they will select. Green Bay has four selections in the top 60. For a team coming off another NFC North crown and the top seed in the conference, that’s not too shabby. But one potential outcome that is oddly being ignored is a draft-day trade of Jordan Love.

From Love’s perspective, getting traded now makes all the sense in the world. He wasn’t a middle-of-the-draft selection that the Packers took a flier on. They traded up in the first round of the 2020 draft to select the former Utah State QB.

The pick seemed to signal a changing of the guard, but Aaron Rodgers landed a contract extension instead. It’s time to do the right thing and send Love elsewhere so he has a shot at playing. However, Green Bay can’t sell him for a bag of peanuts.

The draft capital the Packers would receive in such a trade is a great mystery. Love has started one game in two years. If he stays in Green Bay, all signs point towards him sitting at least two more seasons.

Even when the Packers drafted Rodgers in 2005, the league was slowly transitioning toward top-prospect rookie quarterbacks starting to play right away. Rodgers famously sat behind Brett Favre, which may have been the best thing for him. But fast forward to today, and Love’s case is a rarity in the NFL. First-round quarterbacks don’t sit for multiple years anymore.

It makes some sense for the Packers to keep Love. They want their cake and to eat it too. As quiet as he has been about all of this, though, Love has to be growing frustrated just holding a clipboard. In a draft that is already set to be an outlier for the Packers, given that they have so many early picks, why not go ahead and trade Love? If the Packers could land a second-round selection for him, that’s absolutely worth it.

They can sign a veteran QB to sit behind Rodgers for the next few seasons. What Love is doing now isn’t different from what a veteran quarterback with an established ceiling would be doing. That’s not a slight on Love. It’s pointing out the obvious. Love will be on the sidelines as long as Rodgers is in Green Bay.

Perhaps Green Bay doesn’t want to trade Love because it could be taken as a sign of a failed blueprint and a waste of a 2020 first-round pick. Pride can’t get in the way of business decisions, though. The clock is hitting midnight for Love and the Packers.

The disaster scenario is Love remaining the backup through his rookie contract and then leaving once it expires. Why would he want to stay put with the franchise that had him sitting for the first chunk of his career? Nobody would blame Love for moving on. If it played out this way and Green Bay got nothing in return, the optics would be as bad as it gets.

Working a draft-day trade may be tricky, especially for a quarterback who was taken early but has such a limited sample size of game tape after two seasons. The lone start in Kansas City wasn’t great, but Love was working on a short week of prep against a defense that was hitting its stride. Still, it wasn’t a stellar game from the young quarterback.

Packers fans shouldn’t boo the decision to bring back Rodgers. While some wanted both sides to move on, the reality is that No. 12 gives this franchise the best chance to win a Super Bowl in an ever-narrowing window.

Love is the exciting unknown. The mystery box can be tempting. It’s entirely possible that Love goes on to have a stellar career, and the Packers end up with egg on their face. They can’t worry about that now, though.

Trading Jordan Love now is the best move for him. It’s what he should be pushing for at this stage. For the Packers, knowing that Rodgers will now likely retire a Packer, it’s time to pull the plug on any hopes of The Jordan Love Show in Green Bay. Collect a pick now and make the most of this draft while saving face.

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