Packers Shouldn’t Trade Jordan Love Just to Trade Him

Aug 14, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) during the game against the Houston Texans at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 14, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) during the game against the Houston Texans at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Hey, did you hear? Aaron Rodgers will be back with the Green Bay Packers. Although we don’t yet know the exact terms of the extension, the team has committed to him for at least the next few seasons.

So now, amidst all of the salary cap talk and pending free agents, a big question on everyone’s mind is, what do the Green Bay Packers do with Jordan Love?

If Rodgers did agree to a four-year contract, as Ian Rapoport reported, that would consume the rest of Love’s rookie deal and then some. Even if it’s only a two-year extension, which was the potential terms reported earlier this offseason, that would still eat up the remaining two years of Love’s rookie deal plus his fifth-year option—if the team were to exercise it.

Regardless of how Rodgers’ new deal with Green Bay shakes out, Love won’t be seeing the field anytime soon. With that being the case, trading Love would make the most logical sense.

Ultimately, this seems like the most likely outcome — whenever that may happen — however, that doesn’t mean that the Green Bay Packers should be in a rush to trade Love either. Don’t trade him just for the sake of trading him.

In all likelihood, the Packers will never recoup the first-round pick that they invested in Love, but that doesn’t mean they should trade him away for pennies on the dollar either, as Love can still provide value to this 2022 roster.

Having a quarterback who has been in the system for two seasons as a backup option is always a good thing—you never know when an injury could strike. Or who knows, maybe Rodgers decides to retire sooner than we think; according to Pat McAfee, “retirement was a real consideration” this offseason already.

It’s also worth noting that Love’s cap hit is small, just $3.3 million, and will be relatively small again in 2023. Even for the salary cap-strapped Packers, the savings from trading him are minimal—and not nearly enough to dictate the move.

Keeping Love around could also help rebuild some of his value that may have been lost. After all, Love is still a developing player with only two years of NFL experience–he is also just 23-years-old. Working with QB coach Tom Clements and a strong performance in the preseason will go a long way in helping that and could result in better return compensation for Green Bay down the road.

Sure, there is risk involved with this approach. What if that strategy backfires and his trade value remains the same as it is now or even drops? But are we really going to be that upset about a hypothetical fifth-round pick turning into a sixth-round pick? That isn’t something that is exactly going to alter the course of the Packers franchise.

Now, having said all of that, if the right deal comes along, the Packers should absolutely take it. Jim Nagy, a former NFL scout and current head of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, has been told by a few scouts that Green Bay could get a second-round pick in return for Love. If that ended up being the offer — or any Day 2 pick — Brian Gutekunst would be foolish to turn it down.

Or perhaps a team is willing to depart with a role player for Love, and that player could contribute right away in 2022 to a Green Bay Packers team with Super Bowl aspirations. Again, that’s a move you make, or at least strongly consider, depending on who the player in return is.

There are also other factors involved that we just don’t have the answers to at this time. Perhaps Love is the one who demands a trade because he wants the opportunity to play elsewhere. Or maybe Green Bay just doesn’t see him as a legitimate starter at any point in his career and are willing to move on with whatever compensation is thrown their way. One could argue that with this being a weak quarterback draft class and Love still having three years of team control, his trade value may never be higher.

I’m not against Green Bay trading Love; I certainly get why it makes sense, and as I said, I see it as the most likely outcome. But with that said, there shouldn’t be a rush to trade Love either–unless it’s a deal that Gutey can’t turn down. As long as the value he adds to the team is greater than the return compensation, it might be worth keeping him around for another season.