Jordan Love's current deal gave him a chance to turn around rocky start to 2023

Sometimes, we have a short memory when it comes to assessing NFL players.

It's now a given that Jordan Love is the guy in Green Bay. That he truly can become the third straight franchise quarterback for the Packers, dating back to Brett Favre. And that raises the very real question of whether he should have held firm a year ago, forcing the Packers to either pick up his fifth-year option or let him enter a contract year.

There's another side to this. If Love hadn't done a deal that gave him a two-year commitment from the Packers, they wouldn't have picked up his fifth-year option (per source). Also, the Packers were 2-5 after seven games.

When G.M. Brian Gutekunst was asked if it will take more than the balance of the 2023 season to determine whether Love will be the starter moving forward, Gutekunst put Love on notice. “I hope not," Gutekunst said at the time. "I think we’ve got 10 games left. It’s gonna be a very important 10 games."

Without the contract Love had gotten, would he have even gotten those 10 games? Would they have given someone else a chance to show what he can do? Would they have begun actively planning for life after Love?

Even if the Packers quietly began considering their options for 2024, the contract allowed Love (we're told) to stay focused on the task at hand. The security was critical to Love's turnaround — which propelled the Packers to the divisional round.

They went 7-3 down the stretch, they blew out the Cowboys in a wild-card game, and they could have (should have) beaten the 49ers in the divisional round. It could have (should have) been Packers at Lions for a berth in the Super Bowl. It could have (won't say should have) been Packers-Chiefs in the Super Bowl, in the first year after Aaron Rodgers left town.

In hindsight, the key stretch (prior to the playoff win) was the three games after a loss at Pittsburgh that dropped Green Bay to 3-6. Win at the Chargers, win vs. the Chiefs, win at Detroit on Thanksgiving. Turn those three around, and the Packers are 3-9 with a fork in the season — and possibly also Love's Green Bay career.

Here's the point. Without the security that came from the two-year deal, Love might not have been able to shut out the noise and turn it around. The season could have spiraled out of control, and he would have been looking for his second chance on the open market.

Instead, he's now clearly the guy in Green Bay. And he'll get paid this year. It's not a matter of if but when. Especially since there's no owner in Green Bay who needs to cram the coffers with cash to buy a superyacht.