The Green Bay Packers and Jordan Love agreed to a contract extension instead of the team picking up his fifth year option. Now, Love will have the chance to make $22.5 million in 2024 instead of the $20 million that the option would have paid him. The deal is a win-win for both parties and many former NFL players, including Packers legend Gilbert Brown, have released statements in favor of the deal.
On Tuesday’s “Nine 2 Noon” show on 97.3 The Game, another former Packers player, John Kuhn, also voiced his support of the deal. He also pointed out that the team is going to returning to a practice that made them successful for most of Aaron Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay.
John Kuhn has been around the Packers for a long time. He knows better than most how they deal with their players, so his insight is valuable in understanding why this deal, or any deal, is signed. Here is what he had to say about Jordan Love’s contract and what the Packers plan to do with their young players going forward:
“Now let me just say this. I gave that story about Jordy Nelson when he negotiated his second contract with the Green Bay Packers, and how he had gone upstairs and really tried to discuss with the team and how difficult those conversations were face-to-face with the brass of the Green Bay Packers. To be frank, Jordy’s first contract that he signed with the Green Bay Packers was highway robbery. What the Packers got Jordy Nelson for was highway robbery,
“And then Randall Cobb quickly signed a second contract after that, and Jordy looked at Randall and said, ‘My gosh, you got so much more money,’ and then ‘Let’s talk about this some more.’
“The Packers are going to get back to that. The Packers are going to get back to building from within, building from the draft, and keeping their players on the cheap. That’s how you build a long-term successful football team. You draft well, you keep the guys that are good that you drafted, you keep them on cheaper deals, and that way you can keep more guys around versus having to go into free agency.
“Everyone wants the Packers to go into free agency. When you go into free agency, you’re paying 120% of what you should pay for that player. If you’re paying guys a year early within your organization, you’re paying 80%. The Packers are going to get back to that, they’re going to be able to keep more people, and the only question now is, ‘How good is Jordan Love?’ If he is just 70% as good as Aaron Rodgers was, they are going to be able to build an immensely successful football team.”
The first ten years of Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay saw the team littered with players they developed and signed to keep long-term. While those years only generated one Super Bowl, they were competitive every year with the players they drafted and paid to keep. Not only that, many of those players became fan-favorites who are still fondly remembered by fans, even after their playing days were over.
Later in the show, Kuhn explained why the contract is a win-win for both Love and the Packers:
“Yeah, it makes sense for Love. It also makes sense for the Packers in this: you kind of break up that money, we talked about how they’ve already restructured Darnell Savage, you break up that money, and you just kind of see how he does. If he does really well, you can extend him next year. If he doesn’t do very well, you could even move on.
“If Jordan Love absolutely tanks (I don’t think that’s happening, and shows no promise, remember Aaron Rodgers went 6-10 in his first year, but the offense showed promise, if the Packers show no promise on offense, they can simply move on.
“There are better options for Jordan Love as well. He protects himself and gives himself more money in this year, and if he plays well this year, he’ll make even more money next year when they sign another extension.”
Transitions take time, but remember how fun the early 2010s Packers teams were? If they can get back to that with this young core of players led by Love, Packers fans will find that all of this offseason’s drama has been worth it.