Green Bay Packers

Jordan Love's Extension Is Still A Ways Off, And That's Fine

Photo Credit: Dan Powers via USA TODAY Sports

After, like, six weeks of quarterback uncertainty, Jordan Love proved he’s franchise quarterback material for the Green Bay Packers.

Moving on from Aaron Rodgers was a gamble. However, it seems to have paid off because Love navigated one of the league’s hottest offenses in the back half of 2023. The Packers know they have their guy, and if Love and the young offense take the next step in 2024, the rest of the league should be on full alert.

Of course, if Love is going to be the franchise quarterback, he’ll need to be paid like it.

Shortly after the 2024 draft, the window opened for Love and the Packers to work on a long-term extension. Green Bay fans will rest easier knowing the Packers have Love locked up for the foreseeable future. However, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that deal isn’t quite on the horizon.

“It’ll be up to Russ Ball to see if he can get this deal done,” Schefter said on Tuesday. “I don’t think they’re anything close to getting it done right now. Those are conversations that will occur here in the days and weeks to come.”

What factors are in play for Love’s forthcoming deal, and is it concerning the parties are still so far away?

Love’s quarterback peers in the 2020 draft class have either received major contracts or will one soon. In terms of yearly salary, Joe Burrow is the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback at $55 million annually. Justin Herbert ranks third at $52.5 million per year. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts after Love, and he’s fifth with $51 million per season. That puts three of the “Big 5” quarterbacks from 2020 in the top five highest-paid QBs, with Tua Tagovailoa and Love next in line.

Of course, the major difference between Love and the other four is that Love has only one year of starting experience. The others became starters in their rookie or sophomore seasons.

That means Love’s sample size is much smaller than his peers. There could be a fear of overpaying after a potential “one-hit wonder” season.

But Love trended in a reassuring way, ascending throughout the season and constantly growing and learning. Love’s development appears to be heading in exactly the direction they’d like, and they have even more knowledge than we do. It seems unlikely the Packers aren’t sold on a long-term deal with Love.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff reset the quarterback market earlier this week when he signed a four-year, $212 million deal. His $53 million annual salary is the second-highest in the league and sets the floor for what a Love contact could look like.

“I think his number would go above it, and that is if a deal gets done,” Schefter said. “The longer the Packers wait, the more difficult it will be for them and the better it will be for Jordan Love. That’s my own opinion.”

With Goff’s deal setting the market, the other quarterbacks up for a payday have a new reference point. Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence, and Dak Prescott are also up for a deal.

Part of the delay could be each player’s agent waiting for someone else to make the next move, trying to guarantee their client gets even more. By signing last, it becomes more likely that their client will reset the market.

If the Packers and Love can’t work out a deal, Love could play on his current contract, which is only $11 million for the 2024 season. That would be risky for both parties. Love would risk injury or regression, which would cost him a bigger payday, and Green Bay would risk needing to use the franchise tag, which could alienate their star quarterback.

“You don’t want to go down that road, you’d rather not have to do that, you’d want this deal done sooner rather than later,” Schefter commented. “But if it doesn’t get done, they can’t figure it out. They have the tag available. It’s not like he’s walking out the door in free agency next year, that’s not happening.”

Is it concerning that both parties are seemingly so far apart on a long-term deal?

Absolutely not.

Both parties would love to get a deal done before training camp, but that’s still months away. The Packers and Love have plenty of time to come to accords. Deadlines spurn action, so even if we don’t hear any positive updates in the coming weeks, it doesn’t mean a contract won’t happen.

Agents often use Schefter to magnify their message, reporting their take in exchange for exclusive access to breaking updates. Announcing this story is a way to put the Packers on notice to get a favorable deal soon and let Love’s deal reset the market.

Ultimately, Schefter believes a deal will get done.

“I still think the most likely course of action,” he said, “is that the two sides will figure out a way to get a deal done.”

Love’s situation is unique, which the Packer must consider in his next contract. I believe Love’s deal, whenever it’s announced, will reset the market. And based on how he finished the 2023 season, it’s more than warranted. That deal might not manifest until closer to the 2024 season, but there’s no reason to fret until then.

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Photo Credit: Dan Powers via USA TODAY Sports

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