GREEN BAY – The Packers have a pretty solid history when it comes to making successful picks in the first round of the draft.

But that’s not so much the case when it comes to the decision to draft Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

It was even highly questionable, at the time. Sure, Aaron Rodgers had some ups and downs in Year 1 with Matt LaFleur, but he still played at an elite level and was even named to the Pro Bowl that year. It’s one thing to draft a guy even as early as the second round, but to trade up and subsequently take a quarterback in the first round just seemed like an odd decision, even then.

And these days, it looks even more questionable. Love has been a benchwarmer while Rodgers has gone on to garner back-to-back MVP trophies over the last two seasons. Rodgers also just signed a three-year, $150,815,00 million extension back in March that has him under contract through 2024 and even 2026, depending on certain circumstances.

To make things worse, Love hasn’t looked very good when he has received playing time, either.

All of these circumstances have led The Athletic‘s Nick Baumgardner to label Love as a “whiff” in his most recent column.

Below is what Baumgardner wrote:

“Apart from sparking a feelings war between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers organization, it’s very difficult to see what type of value Love has added to Green Bay’s on-field product through two years as a first-round pick. It’s also pretty much unfair to judge him as a player thus far because nothing about his situation has been normal.”

It’s very unlikely Jordan Love plays before 2024

Yes, Rodgers has publicly described his playing status as year-to-year and he’s made it very clear that his playing days are coming to an end. Another Super Bowl trophy could speed up his decision-making process, as well.

But it’s very hard to imagine Rodgers stepping away from the game after the 2022 season, regardless of what happens.

For starters, Rodgers’ contract will make it very hard for him to do so. His 2022 and 2023 salaries -including bonuses and all- were guaranteed at signing. That’s $101.5 million guaranteed and the Packers would pay out over $30 million in 2023 salary for nothing. And, over $24 million in Rodgers’ prorated signing bonus would also advance on to the 2023 cap.

Retiring after 2022 -unless he pays the team back- would be a very bad look for Rodgers. But, granted, we know he doesn’t mind what the public thinks about him, anyway.

And Love’s fifth-year option is still in play. The Packers have to decide after 2022 if they want to approve the option and have Love on the roster in 2024. Fifth-year options for quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft were worth a little more than $19.4 million in 2022. Meaning, Love’s option will not be a cheap one, at all.

Obviously, if Green Bay declines the option, then that means Love will become a free agent in 2024.

But regardless, the fact of the matter is that it’s very unlikely Rodgers retires before the 2024 season, which would render Love obsolete in regard to team contributions. Outside of an injury to Rodgers, of course.

And that, unfortunately, to go along with his current lack of a resumé, does in fact make him a “whiff”, as Baumgardner states.

Featured image via Sarah Kloepping/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin / USA TODAY NETWORK