However, it appears as if this will be Rodgers’ last season with the organization.
Fox Sports Jay Glazer reported, (starting at 0:50 mark), that the Packers have a deal with Rodgers that would allow him to leave Green Bay after the season.
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) August 5, 2021
If this really is the end of the road for Rodgers and the Packers, sophomore Jordan Love is the next man up.
Selected with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Love has yet to attempt a regular season pass in the NFL as he was inactive for every single game last season.
But with Packers head coach Matt LaFluer saying Rodgers won’t play in the preseason, it’ll be Love’s chance to shine.
Packers’ HC Matt LaFleur said today that Aaron Rodgers will “most likely not” play in the preseason. Jordan Love expected to get plenty of preseason play time.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 10, 2021
Love will have one more year sitting behind Rodgers.
But if the former MVP walks after 2021, Love will have to prove he can be the Packers next starting quarterback for a few reasons.
He Was The Right Pick
Love was a bit of a shocking pick at No. 26 for the Packers.
He certainly had the talent coming out of Utah State.
Green Bay grabbing Aaron Rodgers’ future replacement 👀
The Packers draft Utah State QB Jordan love with the No. 26 pick in the #NFLDraft
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 24, 2020
However, with Rodgers already in place, both fans the media criticized the Packers for selecting Love rather than a weapon for their franchise quarterback to throw to.
The first wide receiver selected after Love was Tee Higgins, by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 33 overall pick.
He caught 67 passes for 908 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie.
One pick later, at No. 34, the Indianapolis Colts selected wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr.
He caught 40 passes for 503 yards and a score as a rookie and looks poised to take on a bigger role in 2021.
Of course, hindsight is 20/20.
You can’t necessarily fault the Packers for missing out on Higgins and Pittman as players themselves.
But if Love struggles throughout the preseason, murmurs of the Packers selecting a quarterback instead of a wide receiver will come up again.
He Can Lead This Team
At the end of the day, if there are murmurs, they are just that.
It’s not like the Packers can go back and change the 2020 NFL Draft.
What Love really needs to prove is that he can lead the offense.
Love has a great opportunity in the preseason to silence the naysayers and prove he can be the future of the Green Bay offense.
Throughout training camp, Love has had his ups and downs.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported that Love had showed signs of progress during the team’s OTAs on May 27.
Aaron Jones noticed the difference in the huddle. Anyone watching practice saw it when the ball left his hand. What they heard and what they saw was Jordan Love 2.0.
And as QB1.
Love showed signs of progress even without top receivers at OTAs.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 27, 2021
But then, on June 8, Demovsky reported that Love had been “favoring check down passes” through training camp.
For those unfamiliar, a check down pass is when the quarterback throws to a running back or wide receiver close to the line of scrimmage in an effort to get them in space.
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with check down passes, but it puts the responsibility on the skill position player rather than the quarterback.
Last season, Rodgers had an average of 8.2 yards per pass attempt.
That ranked third in the NFL.
No one is expecting Love to be an exact replica of Rodgers.
It would be a tough replica to match as Rodgers three MVPs, nine Pro Bowls, and three All-Pro selections to his name.
But Love now has an excellent opportunity to take the reins throughout the preseason.
He needs to show that if Rodgers leads, he can lead the Packers and be the team’s quarterback of the future.