One of the biggest question marks going into this week was whether the Packers would pick up the fifth-year option for Jordan Love. The deadline to make that decision is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET and just hours before that deadline hit, the Packers made their decision.
Instead of picking up Love’s option, the Packers went an unorthodox route: They gave their starting quarterback a one-year extension. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones has reported that Love’s new deal includes $13.5 million in guaranteed money for 2024 and can be worth up to $22.5 million if he hits every incentive.
If the Packers had picked up Love’s option, then the team would have been on the hook for $20.27 million in fully guaranteed for 2024. The new deal seems to be a win for both sides. On the Packers’ end, they’ll be saving $7.22 million in guaranteed money. This will give them some protection in case Love struggles in 2023 and doesn’t look like the quarterback of the future going into 2024.
As for Love, the deal could be good for him because it gives him the chance to make $22.5 million in 2024, which is $2.23 million more than he could have made with the fifth-year option.
As recently as Monday, the Packers were torn about what to do and this seems to be the compromise that they came up with. In a press conference this week, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst admitted that the team was worried about committing $20.27 million to a guy who only has one career start under his belt.
“It’s a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t played,” Gutekunst said, via PFT. “But at the same time, obviously, we’re moving forward with him. So, we’ll figure that out by Tuesday.”
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Love was famously drafted with the 26th overall pick in 2020 after the Packers traded up from 30th overall in a deal with the Dolphins. The move infuriated Aaron Rodgers, who pretty much held a grudge against the front office from the moment the pick was made until he was traded to the Jets last week.
The selection of Love sparked Rodgers into playing some of the best football of his life. In the three seasons after Love was drafted, Rodgers won two MVP awards, which kept Love on the bench. The 23-year-old quarterback has only made one start in three seasons and that came in 2021 when Rodgers missed a game due to COVID-19.
When Love goes under center in Week 1 of 2023, he’ll become just the third different Packers QB to start an opener over the past 30 years, joining Brett Favre (1993-2007) and Rodgers (2008-2022). In 2023, Love will make $2.3 million under the final year of his rookie deal before the new extension kicks in with the 2024 season.