If the Green Bay Packers lose to the Dallas Cowboys this weekend, their playoff hopes are essentially over.

Green Bay would be 3-7 with seven games left to play. They’d probably have to win out to have a shot at the playoffs.

And based on what we’ve seen from the Packers’ offense in 2022, that seems incredibly unlikely.

This is one of those seasons that Green Bay just needs to chalk up as a “bad year” and start prepping for 2023.

There’s no doubt that the Packers need to improve their roster in some areas. Specifically, Green Bay needs to get quarterback Aaron Rodgers some more talent at the wide receiver position.

Rodgers’ mega contract, however, could make it tough for the front office to make improvements to the roster.

That’s why I think if Green Bay loses to Dallas, they need to sit Rodgers for the rest of the season and start Jordan Love.

Sep 25, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (12) and Jordan Love (10) run out onto the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the thinking on this:

Rodgers almost certainly isn’t retiring — he isn’t giving up nearly $60 million to play in 2023.

The Packers can’t release him, either (unless they want to go into salary cap purgatory).

Green Bay’s only options are to trade Rodgers (also unlikely, but more likely than releasing him) or to go all-in with the future Hall of Famer in 2023. That means building a team around him that has offensive weapons that he can count on.

That gets back to the Packers’ inability to make a lot of moves next off-season because of Rodgers’ cap hit.

Green Bay doesn’t know what they have in Love and neither does anyone else. If they sit Rodgers the rest of the season (if they lose to Dallas), it would help keep Rodgers healthy and it would give them a chance to see what they have in Love.

At that point, the Packers could decide if they want to attempt to trade Rodgers and roll with Love. Or they could trade Love for a mid-round draft pick.

Trading Love would clear some salary (they would save north of $2 million in cap space with a post-6/1 trade designation) and it would give the Packers another draft pick or two. That might not sound like a big deal, but the Packers are going to have to be creative next off-season due to cap constraints. Every little bit helps.

Green Bay has an asset in Love. But they don’t know how valuable that asset is right now. If the season is lost, there’s no point in risking a long-term injury to Rodgers, who is already in the twilight of his career. Playing Love makes sense. And even if they don’t trade him or start him in 2023, they would at least have a better idea of what they have in the former Utah State quarterback if he’s allowed to start the final seven games of the season.

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Featured image via Kirthmon F. Dozier-USA TODAY Sports