The Green Bay Packers already know what they have in Aaron Rodgers. The 2021 preseason will finally be an opportunity for Jordan Love.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said Tuesday he doesn’t expect Rodgers to play this preseason.
“I would say most likely not,” LaFleur said to reporters prior to Packers training camp practice Tuesday. “Jordan is going to take the majority of the game (first preseason game) and Kurt (Benkert) will go in there.”
The Packers have only Love and Benkert on the quarterback depth chart after Rodgers, so those two will see the snaps in the preseason. The NFL did not have a preseason last year, so Love didn’t see any game reps at all in his rookie season (Rodgers took all the regular season snaps). Love basically had a redshirt season in his first year in the league.
“I’m super excited for it,” Love said earlier in the week, via NFL.com. “The last time I played a game was the Senior Bowl coming out of college. Over a year-and-a-half ago, I think. I’m super excited. This is the moment I’ve been preparing for ever since last year. It’s almost like I’ve been training a year just for this first preseason game. I’m super excited to get out there and get back to playing ball.”
Love’s preseason will be a good indicator on how far along he is in his development, specifically since Rodgers could find his way out of Green Bay after this season. The Packers used a first-round pick on Love for a reason — and eventually will start him.
Rodgers’ contract runs through the 2022 season before he becomes a free agent, but he could ask for a trade after this season. Green Bay also can’t use the franchise tag on Rodgers after the 2022 season, so Love will have two years — at most — to develop.
This preseason will be a crucial one for Love and the Packers, as the team determines if he’s ready to become the starting quarterback as soon as next year.