Cory’s Corner: Give Jordan Love Credit

There is the high road and there is the road that Jordan Love took, which is about 200 feet above that.

You remember him right? The Packers traded up to pick him 26th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. His first year, he never suited up. Last year, he started one game and appeared in five more. And then Aaron Rodgers signed his deal to stay in Green Bay.

“Super happy for Aaron,” said Love on Wednesday. “The dude deserves it, obviously what he has done the last two years. I was happy for Aaron, but at the same time, I was like ah, you know.”

We should all appreciate his honesty. Of course Rodgers deserved to stay, but at the same time, Love is a quarterback that is trying to carve out a niche in this league.

Thanks to the three-year, $150.8 million contract extension that Rodgers signed in March, Love knows that his ceiling in Green Bay is as a backup. He also knows that the Packers will unlikely exercise his fifth-year option, which will make him a free agent in 2024.

And I’ve heard time and time again that Love is only average and will never amount to much. But nobody knows that. Davante Adams looked brutal his first two seasons in the league, but he has blossomed into arguably the best wideout in the game.

The Packers traded up to get Love because they projected him to be a future starter. They know that it might take some time for the Utah State quarterback to get his feet wet and learn the nuances of the game.

Love turns 24 in November. If he wants to have a shot at being a starter down the road, he needs to turn heads this offseason. He has to prove that he can be accurate. He has to prove that he will not wilt under constant pressure. And most importantly, he needs to be a steady leader in the huddle.

How hungry are teams to find a quarterback? The Raiders recently gave Colin Kaepernick a workout — and he hasn’t taken an NFL regular season snap since 2016.

I don’t think Love will ever be in the upper crust with Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady or Russell Wilson. But I do think he could be better than Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones. That isn’t exactly a Who’s Who of NFL quarterbacks, but it’s a ticket to a starting job playing pro football.

I give Love so much credit. He knows that Rodgers is light years better than he is. And that’s why he has to treat this summer as his Super Bowl. If he can gel with rookie wideouts and move the chains on third down, be efficient in the red zone and do enough in the fourth quarter to win ball games this preseason, other general managers will take notice.

The Packers traded up for a reason. He has the physical tools: he’s a gifted runner, he can make off-platform throws and he has a good arm. Now he just needs to put all of those attributes together.

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