Let me start off by acknowledging how easy it is for me to sit behind my keyboard and state my opinions on what the Packers should do this off-season. The reality is Green Bay has a huge decision on its hands, one that involves real people who have been massively important in the history of this football team.
A decision must be made on the quarterback position this offseason, and I believe it may ultimately change the direction of this franchise forever. As difficult as it may be, the contention window can be opened once again, but not by the quarterback you may think.
This last weekend we watched four teams move on to the championship round, and three of the four quarterbacks playing next week are on rookie deals. The last time the Packers franchise saw a Super Bowl, their quarterback was playing on a team-friendly deal.
Young quarterbacks are currently dominating this league. Having a young player who isn’t making backbreaking money allows the team to operate on less thin margins and provide resources through free agency and the draft.
Rodgers was extended from his rookie deal to a six-year $63.5 million deal in 2008, putting the Packers in a favorable position to add considerably to other places on the roster. This contract led to a Super Bowl victory and some of the most competitive seasons of Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay.
Of course, Aaron Rodgers is still the best bet for this team to be competitive, but I believe Jordan Love is the best bet for this team to become a Super Bowl champion in the long run.
The Packers are considered Titletown, and former General Manager Ted Thompson championed a philosophy of roster building with the absence of sentimentality. You must always do the right thing for the organization and its future.
Green Bay has spent the better part of the last three years developing Jordan Love. I believe if the Packers think there is any chance of Love being a solid starting quarterback, then they must move on from Rodgers.
All indications point towards the Packers believing in the Utah State product. General Manager Brian Gutekunst has consistently supported Love with statements that back him as a future starting quarterback.
Multiple players around the league and on his own team have expressed their positive impressions of Love and his progress both in practice and in limited game action. His draft evaluation is eerily similar to a quarterback out of Cal back in the 2005 NFL Draft, and he has been able to sit behind him for three seasons now.
Green Bay’s roster is aging with important players, but it also has plenty of reasons for optimism. Their rookie class was tremendous last season, and they will have plenty of picks in this year’s draft.
The Packers are one of few teams that have actually been able to make tough decisions with legendary quarterbacks, and it has paid off in the past. Maybe Jordan Love isn’t the next great Green Bay Packer, but maybe he is.
Aaron Rodgers can still play football at a very high level, but ultimately I do not believe this team can win a Super Bowl any longer with him at the helm. While Rodgers could still play at an MVP level, it is clear that the way this roster is currently constructed cannot win the biggest games even with him playing at this level.
Not only is Love a cheaper and potentially still very good option at quarterback, but this is also likely the last time they can gain any value from trading Rodgers. The draft picks, and salary cap relief down the road will help the Packers open a new championship window, one that is much more sustainable.
For years we have heard about the Super Bowl window in conjunction with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, but it is time to start considering Jordan Love as the more likely one to rip open this window.
As a younger fan, I have only experienced two quarterbacks in my lifetime, but I believe now is the best time to take the leap of faith with Love. This organization needs to trust its leaders to make this tough decision for the betterment of the franchise moving forward.
While it will be difficult to see Rodgers play elsewhere to end his career, it is ultimately the best thing moving forward. Whether you like it or not, the path to the next Lombardi trophy coming home starts and ends with Jordan Love.