The Green Bay Packers' brass has been steadfast in its belief in taking a patient approach in Jordan Love's first year as a starting quarterback.
This week, team President and CEO Mark Murphy said it will likely take “at least half a season” for the organization to come to a decision about whether Love is the quarterback who can be a centerpiece.
If the Packers are in the quarterback market next summer, they could try to pull off a trade for a veteran quarterback or look to the draft, where Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are expected to draw the interest of several teams.
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Murphy noted the parallels between Love's set of circumstances to 2008, when Aaron Rodgers took over after backing up Hall of Famer Brett Favre for three seasons. The Packers went 6-10 in 2008 but won their most recent Super Bowl title two years later.
Rodgers' trade to the New York Jets cleared the way for Love, who has made one start since the Packers selected him out of Utah State with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 draft.
PACKERS ‘WOULD RUN THROUGH A WALL FOR' JORDAN LOVE, TEAM'S RUNNING BACK SAYS
“Comparing it a little bit to Aaron’s first year as a starter, yeah, I’d say at least half a season to know,” Murphy said Monday after the NFL’s lone publicly owned team held its annual shareholders meeting. “And I think even though we ended up with a losing record that year, we saw enough of Aaron to know that we had something special.”
The Packers open training camp this week with a much less experienced team than they’ve had in recent seasons. In addition to Rodgers' departure, the Packers also lost wide receiver Allen Lazard this offseason. Meanwhile, kicker Mason Crosby isn’t expected back after the team drafted Auburn kicker Anders Carlson in the sixth round.
“We’re a much different team than we were last year,” Murphy said. “We’ll be younger, but I’m optimistic. I obviously have a lot of confidence in (coach) Matt (LaFleur). I think our defense probably will have to carry us a little bit in the early season. I think, offensively, you’re going to see probably a little bit more of Matt’s true offense.
“Obviously, when you have a great quarterback like Aaron and somebody who’s been in the league as long as he has, we gave him the flexibility to change plays and get in and out of things that really helped. But I would anticipate a strong running game and play-action off of that.”
The Packers' youth on the offensive side is hard to miss.
Green Bay's only wide receivers or tight ends who caught more than 13 passes last season are Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, both entering their second season. The Packers drafted Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave and Michigan State receiver Jayden Reed in the second round and added South Dakota State tight end Tucker Kraft in the third round.
“There will probably be some ups and downs with Jordan, and we’ve got young receivers. But we’ve got a lot of talent there, and I think our thought is — or our hope is — that they’ll all get better and grow together,” Murphy said.
Mruphy conceded that “it was the right time” to make a change at quarterback and praised general manager Brian Gutekunst for his negotiations with the Jets and for making the decision to draft Love four years ago.
“He was highly criticized when he drafted Jordan Love,” Murphy said. “That draft, though, now put us in a position where we feel we can be competitive in the long term. There’s an old saying in the NFL: ‘The best time to draft a quarterback is when you don’t need one.’”
Gutekunst also mentioned that Love is “ready to make his mark in the National Football League after patiently waiting his turn.”
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Murphy said he expects Rodgers to have his number retired “probably a year after” the quarterback’s career is over.
“It’ll probably be someone else in my position making that decision,” said Murphy, who will retire after turning 70 on July 2025. “But I would think it would be shortly after his career ends officially.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.