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Rodgers Who? The Time for Love In Green Bay Is Upon Us!

One of the perks that come with writing about sports, especially football, is that this job allows me to play the part of GM, head coach, analyst, savant, and everything in between. I’ll throw in water boy for every time I get up from my seat to fill my water bottle.

Today, for example, I’ll be taking on the role of imaginary GM for the Green Bay Packers, as well as advocate for why Jordan Love’s time to take over the starting role as the team’s QB is now.

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers - Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

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I don’t care if Aaron Rodgers has a holistic change of heart and decides to run it back in Wisconsin for one more season. The Packers need to understand that as hard as it may seem, the time for moving on and starting out again is now before it’s too late.

If you jump into any NFL news outlet, the chances of running into a story regarding Rodgers and his departure from Green Bay are a dime a dozen. It seems as if everybody is waiting for that specific moment in time when Rodgers will finally say “Green Bay, it’s been good, I’m out” I know I am.

Debating whether Love is ready to take over Green Bay’s offense is stale news. Green Bay’s backup QB is the team’s best option to move forward and try to remain a competitive and relevant team in the NFC. Just as the Brett Favre and Rodgers drama unfolded back in the day, the time for the torch to be passed to Love is here.

For now, let’s cut to the chase and talk about why moving on from Rodgers to Love might just be Green Bay’s best plan this off-season.

Love’s Contract Could Work Wonders for Green Bay’s Finances

Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers
Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers – Mitchell Leff/Getty Images/afp

Let’s play a little game of contract comparison here. As of now, while still with the team, Rodgers is set to make a little bit under $60 million, an amount that carries a cap charge of over $31.5 million for the 2023 season.

But what if Rodgers retires? Well, depending on when that would be made effective by the team, the Packers would carry a $40 million cap hit in 2023, while not having to dish a penny in 2024. However, if Rodgers and the Packers were to restructure their deal one last time, making his signing bonus disappear before walking away, Green Bay might catch a breather.

If the team happens to process the retirement on June 2 or afterward, the Packers would see that original $40 million cap hit be divided in two sums, $15.8 million in 2023 and $24.8 million in 2024. If Rodgers was to be traded, the scenario would work the same way for the team, with a cap hit of $40.3 million in 2023 if the QB is traded before June 1st, and $15.8 million in 2023, followed by $24.8 million in 2024 if he is traded on June 2 or later.

So what does this all amount to for Green Bay? No matter how the whole Rodgers conundrum plays out, the Packers will end up shelling over a big chunk of change.

Love, who will be entering his fourth season with the Packers in 2023, is still playing through his rookie contract and is set to make $2.2 million this upcoming season, with his cap hit standing at $3.9 million. Of course, though, there’s a small matter to consider here, which could end up becoming a pivotal factor to consider when favoring him over Rodgers.

Before May 1, the Packers will have to decide whether to either exercise Love’s fifth-year option on his rookie contract. By doing so, Green Bay would be extending Love’s current contract for one more year, taking the passer to make just over $20 million next year, with all that money going toward the team’s salary cap.

In short, if you were the Packers, would you rather risk paying over $60 million to keep both QBs at least for one more season, or ship Rodgers off before it’s too late or have him retire, again, before it’s too late?

The answer is simple, keep Love, exercise his fifth-year option, and go on from there. It’s the most rational and money-saving strategy the team could pursue, especially when considering that this could be the last time the team could truly gain any positive returns from either trading Rodgers or having him retire.

If Love Wants His Shot, Give Love His Shot

This is starting to play out just like Favre and Rodgers back in the day. On the one hand, you have the bonafide legend who while knowing it’s time to let go, still feels a bit hesitant to hand over the post. On the other hand, you have a young player, more than ready to start making his mark in the team’s offense, in a league where young quarterbacks have taken over and are running the game.

If we trot back to 2008, we’ll find the moment in which Rodgers was offered a six-year, $63,5 million extension after his rookie contract was up. Where did that lead the team? A Super Bowl victory and Rodgers becoming one of the most important quarterbacks in recent history.

After three years of developing Love, it’s more than obvious that having him take control of the team’s offense is what’s best. While the roster is composed of aging veterans who can still ball, it’s what the new generation of Packers players can bring to the table, especially when led by one of their own like Love.I get it Packers fans, the idea of seeing Rodgers play for another team or walk away is a hard pill to swallow. But if a Super Bowl title is what you want, understanding that Love might be the best option at QB for the foreseeable future is what’s up.

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