One of the big questions surrounding the Green Bay Packers‘ offseason plans centers on a player that hasn’t started a game this season.

Packers quarterback Jordan Love will be entering the final season of his rookie contract in 2023 (unless Green Bay picks up his fifth-year option after this season).

And he still doesn’t have a clear path to the starting quarterback job in Green Bay.

Aaron Rodgers is under contract through the 2026 season. I don’t think anyone expects him to actually play until 2026, but he’ll almost certainly be under center in 2023.

The Packers can’t afford to release Rodgers because of the enormous dead cap hit they’d have to take (just under $100 million if they release him after this season). So the only way for Green Bay to be free of Rodgers’ massive contract would be if he retires. It’s hard to see that happening since Rodgers would be walking away from nearly $60 million next season.

Green Bay could release Rodgers after 2023 and only face a $25 million cap hit, which still might be a bit much for them to stomach.

So what happens with Love?

The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman laid out a plan this week that seems extremely likely. 

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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

Schneidman was asked about Love in his weekly mailbag and he pointed out that he doesn’t think Green Bay will pick up Love’s fifth-year option. 

And he doesn’t think the Packers will bench Rodgers and start Love once they’re officially out of contention this season.

From The Athletic:

It would be nearly impossible to trade Rodgers next offseason, so I think he’ll be back in 2023 unless he retires, which I don’t think will happen. That’s another season in which Love doesn’t start. This is just my guess, but I think the Packers will decline the fifth-year option on Love because they can’t exercise it without knowing for certain Rodgers won’t be here in 2024 — if they even think Love is the next starter — and Rodgers’ decision might not be made until after the 2023 season (the Packers must make a decision on Love’s option by May 2023). That would mean Love hits unrestricted free agency after the 2023 season. Maybe Rodgers retires in February 2024 and the Packers re-sign Love to start for them, but my hunch says that doesn’t happen. As long as Rodgers stays healthy, Love never starts for them again.

This feels likely, but if this is going to be the path that Green Bay takes, they should go ahead and try to trade Love. If they’re just going to let him walk after 2023, they might as well deal him and try to recoup a draft pick.

The only reason to keep Love would be as insurance in case Rodgers is injured.

However, it doesn’t seem as though the franchise, despite what they’ve said, feels like Love is going to be the successor to Rodgers. If that’s the case, they might as well move on from him now.

Featured image via Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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