Jordan Love has had limited opportunities to showcase his abilities during the first three seasons with the Green Bay Packers, but that doesn’t mean the quarterback couldn’t take over a starting role if the opportunity arises, Packers running back Aaron Jones said Thursday.
“Jordan Love is ready. Jordan Love will be that guy,” Jones told Fox Sports’ Undisputed while making rounds with media at the Super Bowl in Phoenix. “He made a huge jump this year.”
Jones’ comments shed a bit more light on the Packers’ intriguing quarterback situation. Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers has been noncommittal about his plans for the 2023 season despite signing a massive contract extension less than a year ago. Rodgers — and the Packers — struggled to an 8-9 record, and the 39-year-old said this week he expects to have an answer after going on an isolation retreat after the Super Bowl.
“Jordan Love is ready. We’ll be just fine.” – @Showtyme_33
😈😈 scary hours!! pic.twitter.com/B1jLnBoStQ
— Art Vandelay (@KingFavre) February 9, 2023
Love, meanwhile, has bided his time. He’s played in just 10 games, mostly in mop-up duty, after the Packers traded up to draft him 26th overall in 2020.
Coincidentally or not, Rodgers won his third and fourth MVPs in 2020 and ’21. Rodgers slipped this past season, posting his lowest completion percentage (64.6) since 2008, when he took over for Brett Favre. Rodgers’ 12 interceptions were his most since 2008, and his 26 touchdown passes tied for his second fewest in a full season as starter.
It would be a mistake to think Love isn’t progressing, Jones said.
“At OTAs, we could see it, and then it just kept snowballing, snowballing, snowballing, picking it up. You can tell he wants to play, he’s itching to play,” Jones said. “When his turn comes, he’s gonna be ready. Jordan is very smart. He wants to be successful. He’s going to put everybody in the right positions.”
After two less-than-scintillating performances in 2021 — a loss at the Kansas City Chiefs and another at the Detroit Lions in Week 18 after the Packers had locked up homefield advantage, Love opened eyes and raised hopes across Packerland with a stellar relief appearance in Green Bay’s 40-33 loss at Philadelphia this past season.
“It’s just been so cool to see his growth, the development, him gain that confidence,” Jones added. “It showed. Even when he went in in Philly he played well. The games he went in, he played well. He showed, ‘Hey, I can play at this level, and I can do it at a high level.’ ”
This only adds to speculation that Rodgers could be dealt. A combination of factors might lead to that, including a nearly $60 million option bonus due to him between March 15 and the day before the start of the 2023 season, accompanying future salary-cap ramifications, and a desire to see exactly how Love would handle starting duties.
There would be a trade market for Rodgers, probably starting with the Las Vegas Raiders, if former Packers teammate Davante Adams has a say. The New York Jets, according to their owner, and Tennessee Titans are other possibilities.
The Packers will have to decide in May whether or not to pick up Love’s fully guaranteed fifth-year option for more than $20 million in 2024.
“We’ll be just fine,” Jones said. “I’ve got a lot of trust in Jordan. (I’ve) been working with him in OTAs the past three years, and I’ll get another one coming up this year to work with him, just continue to help him grow. We’ll grow together.”
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