The Green Bay Packers have agreed on a contract extension with fourth-year quarterback Jordan Love after the loss of Aaron Rodgers.
Love and the Packers have reportedly concluded negotiations on a one-year $22.5m extension, $13.5m of which is fully guaranteed, according to ESPN. The Wisconsin-based franchise had until today (May 2) ended to pick up the fifth-year option on the 26th pick in the 2020 Draft.
A partial guarantee seems to benefit both parties as the Packers avoid being on the hook for the full $20m+ should Love fail to fill the void left by Aaron Rodgers ' blockbuster trade to the New York Jets. Equally, if that scenario transpires, Love has locked in $14m for next year, regardless of how he plays on the field.
Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst had hinted the franchise would pick up the quarterback option despite leaving it late to do so before today's deadline. May 3 is the deadline for teams to decide whether to exercise or decline options on 2020 first round draftees.
The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers already exercised their options on Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert last month. Meanwhile, Tua Tagovailoa, the draft class' other standout quarterback, knew the Miami Dolphins' intentions in March.
Love, the fourth quarterback picked in 2020's first round, and the Packers let it go down to the final day. Gutekunst had, though, hinted on Monday that a deal would come, albeit raising concerns about the player's lack of games.
Asked about their intentions on Monday following the conclusion of the 2023 Draft, Gutekunst was coy on the negotiations. “Yeah, I’ve got to figure that out by Tuesday, I guess, yeah,” the Packers GM said. “We’re kind of still working through that.
“We’ve been so focused on the draft. We’ve had some preliminary conversations, but we’ll get to that before Tuesday.” Asked whether there was any reason the team would opt againt exercising the option, Gutekunst alluded to what their final decision would be.
“Again, I’ve got to get through that. It’s a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t played. But at the same time, obviously, we’re moving forward with him. So, we’ll figure that out by Tuesday.”
The Utah State product has started only one NFL game across three seasons. That came when replacing Rodgers in November 2021 against the Kansas City Chiefs while the four-time league MVP was ineligible to play after testing positive for COVID-19.
As a starter in the 13–7 loss, Love completed 19 of 34 passes for 190 yards, threw one interception, and claimed his first touchdown. Aside from that outing, Love has been used to relieve Rodgers over the last two seasons.
After this contract extension and the long-time Packers quarterback leaving, Love seems set to be the team's starter for the 2023 season. Whether the Bakersfield, California native is indeed the heir to Rodgers' throne remains to be seen.