With Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers boycotting the team’s mandatory minicamp, the biggest beneficiary will be the player whose arrival set the current dysfunction between Rodgers and the front office in motion.
Quarterback Jordan Love, the player for whom the Packers traded up in the first round of the 2020 draft to select, becomes the first-string quarterback with Rodgers absent. Given that the receivers who didn’t attend voluntary OTAs will be present for the mandatory camp, Love will get a chance to work with them in preparation for the possibility that he’ll be the starter in 2021, or maybe in 2022.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes that Love has “favored check-down passes during the practices that have been open to reporters.” Perhaps Love will open things up a bit with the better receivers present.
It also will be interesting to see what the receivers have to say about Love during the minicamp. Rodgers, whose absence will force teammates and coaches to answer plenty of questions about him, surely will be listening to hear what receivers and others have to say about Love. As Simms suggested on PFT Live, players will likely praise Love for his strides since last year while steering clear of any attempt to compare Love to Rodgers. If they praise Love too much, the ultra-sensitive Rodgers will not be happy.
For now, there’s surely little comparison between the two players. At some point, however, the Packers need to see what Love can do. They thought highly enough of love to move from No. 30 to No. 26 to get Love in April 2020, after Green Bay’s top two targets — receiver Justin Jefferson and receiver Brandon Aiyuk — were plucked by other teams.
That’s why I still believe that folks like CEO Mark Murphy and G.M. Brian Gutekunst would prefer (even if they won’t admit it) a full-season holdout by Rodgers. They’d realize more than $30 million in cash and cap savings, they’d get a chance to develop Love, they wouldn’t have to worry about Rodgers thriving elsewhere this year, and they’ll still trade him in March for a bunch of draft picks and/or players.