When Aaron Rodgers was chosen with the 24th pick in the 2005 draft, many fans felt it was a wasted pick by GM Ted Thompson.
They were convinced the pick should have been spent on providing another weapon for Brett Favre. In the offseason after the 2007 season, Green Bay was fresh off an NFC Title game appearance when the decision was made to move on to Rodgers after Favre waffled on whether to retire or not.
After much drama, he was eventually traded to the Jets for what turned out to be a 2nd round pick. Even after their stark criticism, these same fans were singing the praises of Ted Thompson in 2008 when it became obvious that Aaron Rodgers was going to develop into a special player. Rodgers had exactly 3 years to mature, learn, and develop into a confident quarterback that was ready for a starting role.
In 2023, Green has found themselves in almost the exact same position they were in during the spring of 2008.
Love was drafted in the 1st round of the 2020 draft at a time when Rodgers was coming of two of his poorest seasons. Even though Rodgers appeared to be on the decline, fans were again very critical of GM Brian Gutekunst for not picking a player that could help Green Bay compete in 2020.
The pick of Love clearly motivated Rodgers to win back-to-back MVP awards in 2020 and 2021. Rodgers was one of the best at taking on his doubters and proving them wrong.
Green Bay panicked after the 2021 season when they had the opportunity to trade Rodgers for a large package of top picks, instead they gave Rodgers one of the worst contracts in NFL history. One that got worse with age and guaranteed 150 mil dollars in salary.
In 2022, Green Bay performed very poorly, and Rodgers had arguably his worst season since his rookie year. Rodgers’s poor statistical season and Jordan Love’s intriguing performance in relief against the Eagles was enough for Green Bay to push the ejection button.
Love, for the first time in live game action, showed his accuracy, poise, and athleticism which hasn’t been seen in Green Bay for many years.
Rodgers on Tuesday, was traded to the NY Jets for a swap of 1stround picks in 2023, the 42nd overall pick in 2023, a swap of GB’s 5th round pick for the Jets’ 6th round pick in 2023, and a contingent 2nd round pick in 2024 that will become a 1st rounder if Rodgers plays at least 65% of the teams snaps at QB in 2023. The most important part of this trade is Green Bay rid themselves of the remaining 100+ million dollars on Rodgers’s contract. This helps the Packers salary cap situation immensely in 2024 and 2025.
Love is still a very unknown commodity, but the Packers management brass are very confident in his abilities and the maturity he’s shown over the past year. Green Bay will now focus on replenishing the depleted weapons on offense to help their new QB out. They will consume a 40+ mil dead cap hit in 2023 for trading Rodgers, so all their help will need to come from the draft.
For the first time in years, GB may take a WR or TE in the 1st round of the draft and it’s almost guaranteed they will take multiple WR’s, TE’s and OL to continue the development pipeline of offensive weapons.
The cupboard is not bare however, Love will have a very good OL, 2 good if not great Running Backs in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Green Bay will likely feature a run heavy scheme and will likely use their running game to set up the pass and take pressure off their QB.
With Rodgers, the feeling is they never ran the pure form of Matt Lafleur’s offense, since Rodgers was known to dislike the motion within the offense that is a staple of this system.
The WR stable is young but talented with breakout star Rookies Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and development WR Toure. This group is not very deep so a minimum veteran could be added in addition to a draft pick.
While Jordan Love will no doubt have his ups and downs during his first year as a starter, I’m confident he will show why Brian Gutekunst and Matt Lefleur think he is the next great QB in Green Bay.
2023 will no doubt be a rebuilding year, but an 8-9 or even a 7-10 season will feel much different. It will feel like GB is on the rise instead of a fall like in 2022. 2024 will no doubt see some veteran fan favorites move on for cap reasons, these players may include David Bakhtiari, Preston Smith, Aaron Jones, & De’Vondre Campbell.
2025 will be the year Green Bay will be flush with Cap Space to help them supplement their new core of young star players.
No doubt patience will be needed from the transition from one of the best quarterbacks ever in Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love. But in the end, maybe, just maybe, lightning will strike 3 times in a row and Jordan Love will be our next Hall of Fame Quarterback in Green Bay!