Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 2020 NFL Draft occurred when the Packers traded up in the first round to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. While drafting a QB in the opening round isn’t shocking in its own right, doing so when you have one of the best quarterbacks in football on contract for another four years certainly makes it a curious move.
In Brett Favre’s eyes, the decision to trade up four spots to take Love at No. 26 overall means Aaron Rodgers will finish his career away from Green Bay.
When asked about Rodgers ending his career with the Packers on the Rich Eisen Show, Favre said, “My gut tells me no. I don’t know this for certain, but I guarantee you, it’s got the wheels turning in Aaron’s mind.
“If that’s the case, then that means there’s a chip on his shoulder toward the organization that otherwise was not there,” Favre added. “All he needs is a reason other than this reason to expedite that.”
Favre spoke with Rodgers after the Love selection, and shed some light on the conversation. “Let’s just say surprised that they went in that direction,” Favre said of Rodgers’ attitude.
Rodgers has four years remaining on the $134 million extension he signed with Green Bay in 2018. While the drafting of Love sparked some trade talk, Rodgers is viewed as untradeable until after the 2021 season due to salary-cap reasons.
Did Green Bay ‘Disrespect’ Rodgers?
With a 36-year-old quarterback, it’s not ridiculous for a franchise to think about its future at the most important position in sports. In fact, they did so when they drafted Rodgers to take Favre’s place years ago.
However, the Packers reached the NFC Championship Game a season ago, and drafting a backup quarterback won’t help them catch the 49ers.
Green Bay is built to win now, perhaps only being a few pieces away, so taking a weapon who could help Rodgers and the offense gain a step on their NFC competition felt like the obvious path to take.
Instead, the Packers drafted Love.
The failure to give Rodgers any weapons at the receiver position follows a pattern. “They don’t draft any weapons—not just in the first round, but any weapons that can help immediately, to my knowledge,” Favre said. “And that just sends a disrespectful message to Aaron Rodgers. He has every right to be disappointed if he is.”
Perhaps the most disrespectful statistic is the fact that just one of Rodgers’ 364 touchdown passes has been to a first-round pick. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning has thrown 293 TDs to first-rounders, Favre had 127 such touchdowns, and both Tom Brady and Drew Brees have more than 100 TD passes to first-rounders.
Packers To Take a Step Backward
Green Bay was a single game away from the Super Bowl a year ago. Yet they chose not to give Rodgers help at receiver, and now appear to have fallen behind other NFC contenders.
According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Packers are currently tied with the Vikings for the seventh-best odds of winning the NFC at +1300.
Every other one of the six teams ahead of Green Bay has +1000 odds or better. San Francisco (+460) remains the favorite to take the NFC crown once again, followed by New Orleans (+650), and Tom Brady’s Buccaneers (+700).
Dallas is expected to take a leap forward, now holding odds of +850 to represent the conference in the Super Bowl. Both Philadelphia and Seattle own odds of +1000.
Rodgers threw for 4,002 yards and 26 touchdowns with just four interceptions to lead the Packers to a record of 13-3 a year ago. No receiver apart from Devonte Adams (997 yards) had more than 447 yards receiving.