How much longer will the Packers stick with Aaron Rodgers over Jordan Love?
All good things must come to an end eventually. The tricky part is getting the timing right.
With the veteran quarterback hosting "Jeopardy" in April 2021, this might have been the timeline the Packers were expecting – seeing their iconic quarterback step aside to enjoy life after football and making way for the new kid on the block to take the reins.
Rodgers acknowledged during a recent appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" that Green Bay's selection of Love took his fate out of his own hands.
"I've just always spoken the truth and been honest about my opinions and where things are at. And understanding that with that pick, that did take my future out of my control."
But the Packers might have overlooked one thing: Rodgers has plenty of elite football left in him. That has altered the timeline the franchise might have been preparing for with the selection of Love.
Rodgers is coming off arguably the best season of his 16-year-career, reaching career highs in touchdown passes (48) and completion percentage (70.7) en route to his third MVP award in 2020. He helped the Packers reach the NFC Championship Game, in which they fell to the eventual champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With that much juice left in the tank, it's difficult to imagine Rodgers walking away anytime soon.
In that case, the Packers will have a decision to make on Rodgers' future, with his contract having an out following the 2021 season: Either stick with the reigning MVP or move on to the quarterback in the wings.
Retired NFL running back Brian Westbrook believes that retaining Rodgers should be a no-brainer for Green Bay, explaining on "First Things First" that the Packers should learn a lesson from what happened with Tom Brady leaving the Patriots.
"Look at Tom Brady, and take a page out of his playbook. You spend 20 years in New England. Nobody thought that he would be leaving. Now he finds a home in Tampa Bay, a team that is full of talent, a team that just needed a leader and a guy who could throw the ball around the field and not throw to another team."
Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots before moving on to the Buccaneers and helping them win a championship in his first season with the team.
And if anybody knows a thing or two about following an icon, it's Rodgers.
In 2005, he found himself in a very similar position to Love's when he was drafted in the first round as the heir apparent to Brett Favre. Rodgers backed up Favre for three seasons before becoming the full-time starter in 2008. While it is unlikely that Love will overtake Rodgers anytime soon, there is a distinct possibility of it happening at some point.
According to Brandon Marshall, that isn't something Rodgers will concern himself with.
And it might be in the Packers' best interest to continue to hand the ball to Rodgers, considering he is a proven commodity while Love remains a question mark.
Robert Mays of "The Ringer" detailed how Love's last full season of play in 2019 at Utah State resulted in a mixed bag of results that led to him sliding to the 26th pick of the 2020 Draft.
"He couldn’t stop throwing the ball to the other team. He threw three interceptions during Utah State’s season opener against Wake Forest—and things didn’t get much better from there. He finished the season with five multi-interception games, including three picks apiece against LSU and BYU. In all, Love threw 17 interceptions last season, with three of them getting returned for touchdowns."
Rodgers proved his worth in 2020.
Now it's time to see what the Packers do about it.
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