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If the Packers want to keep Aaron Rodgers, they must consider trading Jordan Love
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Corey Seeley joined The Draft Scout team right before the 2021 NFL draft and jumped into a big role as a scouting assistant and content creator. As his role expands, Corey will write frequent NFL and NFL draft columns while also taking part in our interactive events.
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The rift between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers organization has been one of top storylines since the news broke on draft night. If the reporting on Rodgers is accurate, then it doesn’t seem like he is anywhere different today than he was a few weeks ago.
He is not happy in Green Bay.
The Packers look to be relatively firm on standing their ground, even if it means allowing Rodgers to sit out for as long as he deems necessary. Regardless of how you look at the situation, trading Aaron Rodgers would be a monumentally foolish move for the Packers organization to make. Rodgers is coming off of an MVP season in which he was a few plays away from leading his team to a Super Bowl appearance.
This Packers team is built to win right now, so trading away the best player on the roster is not a move forward.
It’s a step back.
So, what's Green Bay's next move with Aaron Rodgers?
Play hard ball and force Aaron Rodgers to either show up and play or retire
This is my least favorite option as it would be a horribly embarrassing look for the entire Green Bay Packers franchise. Trading Rodgers because he’s unhappy with the organization wouldn’t be a great look. But, forcing him to retire because he doesn’t want to be there, and you don’t want to trade him, would be a historically horrendous look.
The Packers cannot and should not allow Rodgers to retire or sit out any part of the regular season. You simply have to find another way of resolving the situation.
Trade Aaron Rodgers for a haul of draft picks and starting caliber player(s)
This is the scenario most people are talking about. Where will Aaron Rodgers be playing come week one? Which teams should be in on Aaron Rodgers? The questions without answers are endless when we think about the possibility of one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history possibly being traded.
If the Packers front office truly feel the relationship with Rodgers is unsalvageable, then trading him is the move you probably have to make.
Trade Jordan Love
This would be my preferred option of the three. The Packers are smart for drafting and developing quarterbacks the way that they do. Having the next guy ready is critically important in this league, and very few teams have continued success at finding their next guy. Green Bay has a history of it, and they should be applauded for their consistent approach at it.
However, it’s a different league today than it was back when Aaron Rodgers was drafted to sit and learn behind Brett Farve.
Today, the stars in the NFL have voices that matter more than ever.
Rodgers has publicly said that the rift between the Packers front office has little to do with the drafting of Jordan Love, and more to do with the overall philosophy of the organization.
"It's just kind of about a philosophy and maybe forgetting it is about the people that make the thing go. It's about character. It's about culture. It's about doing the things the right way." Rodgers said during an interview with ESPN's Kenny Mayne.
Back in 2017, shortly after Alex Smith had led the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs, the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes in the first round of the NFL Draft. Smith recently appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. He spoke about both the Aaron Rodgers situation in Green Bay, and his own personal experience in Kansas City when the Chiefs drafted his eventual replacement.
Question: Did Kansas City give you a heads up on Mahomes?
“Yes, without a doubt. 100 percent. That was something that was talked about throughout the draft process, not just by coach (Andy) Reid." Smith said.
"Everybody involved in the personnel department. And I’m talking multiple times. ‘Hey this really might be something we’re doing, are you okay with it? This is going to be the situation.’”
“There were no surprises. It was absolutely laid out for me. And I think that all helps," Smith continued.
"When that stuff is communicated, it does make a difference how you treat people.”
The Kansas City Chiefs organization respected Alex Smith enough to give him the heads up that they may draft a quarterback in the first round.
Why didn’t the Green Bay Packers do the same for Aaron Rodgers?
The Packers should not trade Jordan Love because Rodgers doesn’t like him or feels threatened by him, not at all. The Packers should trade Jordan Love to show Aaron Rodgers that they are committed to him not only today, but also tomorrow.
Trade Jordan Love for players that can help this Packers team compete with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and other contenders, this season and moving forward. If you believe that Rodgers has two to four great – maybe even elite – years left in him, then keeping Jordan Love makes absolutely zero sense.
The New England Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo back in 2014, and after three plus seasons in New England, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick. Bill Belichick wanted to keep Garoppolo, but with Tom Brady showing zero signs of slowing down while continuing a very high level of play; keeping both players did not make sense for New England.
At the end of the day, you keep the better player. You keep the player that gives you the best chance to win at the highest level.
That player is Aaron Rodgers, not Jordan Love.