There was a lot of… consternation when the announcement came that the Packers had moved up to select quarterback Jordan Love at the end of the 1st round.
The issue most fans took was that he won’t play right away and a 1st round pick should pay immediate dividends.
There’s no reason to think that Love will (or should) start as a rookie and putting him in a position to play as a sophomore even seems like a bit of a stretch, so let’s rule those years out.
Per Spotrac, cutting Rodgers this year or next year would result in dead cap hits of $51M and $32M respectively, making it a silly proposition even if Love played great.
Rodgers’s contract runs out in 2024, when he’ll be 40 years old. At that point, Jordan Love will be due for his 5th year extension, a logical point to see if he has what it takes to be a starter.
At worst, that would be a very happy coincidence.
But will the Packers wait that long?
Rodgers’s contract can’t really be dropped for two years, but after that things could get interesting.
After two years to give Love an opportunity to fully absorb the offense, clean up his mechanics, and work on the bad habits he started to pick up last year, could the Packers make the switch?
In 2022, cutting (or trading) Aaron Rodgers would result in a cap hit of $17M. Since Love will only be getting around $3M, the Packers total QB cap hit would be $20M – a very manageable number.
If they waited until 2023, cutting (or trading) Aaron Rodgers would only result in a $3M cap hit.
So, after a couple years, the coaching staff should have a pretty good idea of how Love is developing. If he’s coming along good, the Packers could either ride with Rodgers and hang onto him until 12’s play degrades. If things aren’t going so hot, the Packers could look for another 1st round QB in the 2023 or 2024 draft to prepare for Rodgers’s eventual retirement.
Looking at the long-term view and timing, the Packers actally put themselves in a very good position for the future. Instead of grabbing a QB when they desperately need one, they have a guy waiting in the wings and they have plenty of time to find another one if things don’t work out.
That’s some smart draft strategy.
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