5 Takeaways from Aaron Rodgers’ first press conference since Green Bay selected Jordan Love
The 2020 NFL Draft was full of surprises, but Green Bay’s selection of Jordan Love with the 26th pick took the cake.
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— NFL (@NFL) April 24, 2020
Green Bay is coming off a 13-3 season and an NFC Championship berth in 2019, which is why fans and experts didn’t expect them to trade up and take a quarterback in Round 1, especially with Rodgers still playing at a relatively high level.
Most completions of 30+ yards in last two seasons
1. Patrick Mahomes – 59
2. Dak Prescott – 48
2. Aaron Rodgers – 48
4. Deshaun Watson – 47 pic.twitter.com/45CYNDL2gq
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) May 15, 2020
On Friday, Rodgers addressed the media for the first time since the draft and let his thoughts be known about the selection of Love and what it means for his future in Green Bay.
Here’s what we learned:
1. Rodgers was, like us, shocked the Packers picked Love
Fans weren’t the only ones who were left speechless by the Packers selection of Love – their franchise quarterback was also caught off guard.
“General reaction at first was surprise,” Rodgers said. “I’m not going to say I was thrilled with the pick.”
In his 12 seasons as the starter in Green Bay, Rodgers is a 2-time NFL MVP, 2-time First-Team All-Pro selection and 8-time Pro Bowler.
He also led the Packers to a Super Bowl title in 2011 and was named Super Bowl MVP.
2. Rodgers does look forward to working with Love
Though he was shocked by the selection of Love, Rodgers isn’t going to let that get in the way of building a relationship with the Packers first round pick.
Aaron Rodgers on working with Jordan Love: "He didn't get asked to be drafted by the Packers. He's not to blame at all. … Had a good conversation with him the day after the draft. I'm excited to work with him." https://t.co/hdpzB5unj1
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 15, 2020
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur echoed Rodgers’ sentiments, saying there’s been no friction between the two quarterbacks since the draft.
Matt LaFleur on a conference call now, on Aaron Rodgers not being "thrilled" with the Jordan Love pick:
"I totally understand where he's coming from."
LaFleur adds Rodgers doesn't need any extra motivation and interactions with Rodgers have been great since draft.
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) May 15, 2020
3. Rodgers understands the pick was made with the future in mind
An NFL veteran like Aaron Rodgers understands the goal isn’t just to win now, but also maintain success into the future.
With that in mind, he isn’t holding any hard feelings towards the Packers, seeing the selection of Love as a necessary move to ensure success down the road for the franchise.
“Obviously they thought that [Love] was such a great talent that they needed to go up and get him … It’s what those guys are paid to do, to put together a roster for now and for the future as well.”
— PFF (@PFF) May 12, 2020
Love’s numbers from his sophomore season at Utah State were remarkable. He threw for 3,567 yards, 32 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions, which is why many pundits before the draft thought Love was worthy of a first round pick.
4. Rodgers, a la Tom Brady, wants to play into his 40s
Tom Brady has fought off Father Time and coming into the 2020 season, he will be 43.
Aaron Rodgers has the same goals in mind.
“It was more the surprise of the pick based on my own feelings of wanting to play into my 40s and the realization that it does change the controllable a little bit because as much as I feel confident in my abilities … there are some new factors that are out of my control” ARod
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) May 15, 2020
Rodgers is 36 years old, but he doesn’t appear to be showing any signs of slowing down. Last season, he passed for 4,002 yards, 26 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
5. Rodgers is prepared to move on from Green Bay if the time comes
But if the goal for Rodgers is to truly play into his 40s, he understands that might not be possible in Green Bay.
Most honest Aaron Rodgers answer just now, in response to being asked why he wasn't thrilled with the Love pick.
"My sincere desire to start and finish with the same organization, just as it has with many other players over the years, may not be a reality at this point."
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) May 15, 2020
Rodgers was drafted by the Packers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft and sat three years behind franchise icon Brett Favre before becoming the starter in 2007.
If history were to repeat itself with Rodgers, Love would be set to replace him in a few years as well.
Colin Cowherd believes that the press conference painted Rodgers in a positive light considering the circumstances.
“I was very impressed with Aaron Rodgers’ press conference today. He was honest, authentic, real. It was impressive. He’s a smart guy. You don’t want to sound like some PR guy. I would be upset. He has every right to be upset.”
There is no telling if or when Jordan Love will be ready to overtake Rodgers for the starting quarterback position in Green Bay.
But one thing is for certain – Rodgers doesn’t appear ready to give up his spot without a fight.