How long will it be until Jordan Love becomes the Packers starting quarterback?
When the Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th-overall pick in the NFL Draft, everyone started to wonder what their plan was.
Aaron Rodgers still has four years left on his contract and is coming off another extremely solid season. The Packers are clearly preparing for the future without Aaron Rodgers and are expecting a drop off from the future Hall of Famer in the coming years.
In recent years, we’ve seen young quarterbacks succeed after backing up a veteran in their first year. Patrick Mahomes is the best example of this, who won MVP after sitting out his rookie year in 2017. Rodgers himself sat three years behind Brett Favre before he became a starter.
This is the model the Packers are going for. In an ideal world, they’ll get one or two more years out of Rodgers as an elite quarterback, at which point they’ll transition to Love, who will be ready to succeed as a starter at that point.
However, there’s no guarantee that Rodgers will lose the job any time soon. He’s always said he wants to play into his 40s and there’s no reason to doubt him. The starting job should be Rodgers’ until Love beats him out.
Jordan Love will likely have to wait at least two years before he becomes a starter.
Now, if Rodgers does start to see a more sharp decline in the coming years, the Packers’ decision will become much easier. However, there is still the issue of Rodgers’ contract. He is signed through 2023. The contract becomes more team friendly in 2022, when the dead cap goes down to $17.202 million, which is the closest the team can truly consider moving on from Rodgers.
Although, if they were able to squeeze one more year out of Rodgers, in 2023 the dead cap goes all the way down to $2.852 million, essentially nothing compared to how much they would be saving.
In all likelihood, Love won’t be the Packers starter until at least 2022. By that time, they hope he will have learned enough from his time in the NFL to transition into a starting role.
The entire plan is dependent on Rodgers’ durability. If he’s able to continue cranking out 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns per year, there’s no reason the Packers should try to move on from him. Rodgers is still an extremely solid quarterback, and the Packers might regret it if they move on from him too early.
Highest-graded playoff QB over the past decade, via @PFF:
Aaron Rodgers ? pic.twitter.com/NQTVpEUhDC
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) July 20, 2020
It may end up being similar to the Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo situation in New England. The organization liked Garoppolo as a successor for Brady, but they saw their chance to continue contending with Tom Brady under center and took it. It worked out pretty well for them.
The Packers have Love under control for five years and its unlikely that Rodgers will still be in the picture towards the back end of that deal, but if we’ve learned anything from his career, we should never rule Aaron Rodgers out.
At the end of the day, Jordan Love is a first round pick and he will eventually be expected to take over for Aaron Rodgers. At the earliest, the Packers could name him as the starter for the 2022 season.