The Green Bay Packers trading up to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love on Thursday was the shocker of the first round.
At least in real time.
But that doesn’t mean it came as a surprise to Aaron Rodgers. The Packers quarterback anticipated his team might draft his potential successor and had a message for whomever it might be in March: Find a comfy seat over there on the bench.
Aaron Rodgers on @WildeAndTausch in March on possibility of Packers drafting a QB: "They're not going to be able to beat me out anytime soon."— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) April 24, 2020
So what does this all mean for Rodgers?
This is not at all a surprising take from the hyper-competitive 36-year-old signal caller. He’s not here to pass the torch.
He’s also been on the other end of this. The Packers drafted him in the first round in 2005 while franchise icon Brett Favre was still under center. And like Rodgers anticipates for Love, he didn’t beat Favre out “anytime soon.”
Rodgers eventually became the Packers’ starter en route to eight Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl win. But he spent three seasons sitting behind Favre until it was his turn.
Is this the same process the Packers have in mind for Love? It seems likely. But with relatively new management in place, it’s no sure thing. Third-year general manager Brian Gutekunst alluded to Thursday’s draft decision in January.
“Obviously [Rodgers is] still playing at an elite level, but for me, I was raised by Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson,” Gutekunst said. “If there’s a quarterback we think can play, that’s a starter in the National Football League, we’ll never pass that up.
“But I’m really glad 12’s back there, really excited for what he can do in Year 2. I know [head coach] Matt [LaFleur] talks about Matt Ryan and what he did in Year 2, obviously Aaron has played at an elite level and see what he did in Year 1, I’m excited for Year 2.”
That sounds like a guy who’s not ready to move on from his future Hall of Fame quarterback who’s fresh off an NFC championship game experience. But it’s hard to say until this all plays out.
Rodgers has legitimate gripe
Rodgers hasn’t yet publicly responded to Green Bay’s draft decision. And while it’s hard to knock a team for picking a quarterback if it thinks he’s a future star in the league, Rodgers is absolutely right to have beef regardless.
The Packers yet again failed to surround Rodgers with elite talent from the top of the draft. For a franchise that’s largely squandered the prime of one of the great quarterbacks in the history of the game, it delivered a clear message on Thursday.
Winning now with what’s left of Rodgers’ career is not the priority.
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