Brett Farve and Aaron Rodgers have been linked since 2005. But now, 15 years later, a new connection seems to have forged between the two.
During the 2020 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers made waves in the first round when they traded up to draft Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. The Packers acquired the 26th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft from the Dolphins in exchange for the Nos. 30 and 136 selections and with No. 26 took Love.
This move sent ripples throughout the NFL community, and many likened the move to what the Packers did in 2005 when they drafted Aaron Rodgers. Brett Favre, the incumbent Packers quarterback at the time of Rodgers’ drafting, sees clear similarities
Brett Favre appeared via telephone on “The Rich Eisen Show” on Wednesday. The 11-time Pro Bowler and Hall of Famer saw Green Bay’s latest move for a new quarterback as potential “disrespect” to their current signal-caller, Aaron Rodgers.
Favre went so far as to say he doesn’t think Rodgers will finish his surefire Hall-of-Fame career wearing the Packers’ green and yellow.
“I think he’ll play somewhere else,” Favre said to Eisen. “My gut tells me, no. It’s kind of cool – it’s not uncommon to retire and unretire now. When I did it, it was a little bit out of the realm.”
Favre Left Green Bay
Brett Favre’s divorce from Green Bay was a messy one. In March of 2008, Favre formally announced his retirement, while still a member of the Packers. Although he had stated he wanted to play another year, he felt that another season would only be successful with a Super Bowl victory.
But in July of 2008, Favre wanted to return. He sought an unconditional release after the team reaffirmed their commitment to then-third year quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In August of 2008, the Packers traded Favre to the Jets for a 2009 conditional 4th round pick. After a tumultuous year in New York, Favre signed with the Vikings and finished his playing career in Minnesota.
“Now, it’s fairly common,” said Favre during his interview with Eisen. “Tom Brady and myself and Joe Montana and Peyton Manning – just to name a few – finished their career elsewhere. In my case, I played for four different teams. So I think you’re going to see that trend more and more, and I think Aaron will finish somewhere else. That’s my gut.”
During his discussion with Eisen, Favre intimated that Green Bay sent the wrong message to Rodgers by trading up to take Love.
This is seemingly a mirror situation to the one that played out in 2005. Favre said GM Ted Thompson did not inform him of his decision before drafting Rodgers, similar to how general manager Brian Gutekunst did not inform Rodgers before drafting Love. Both Favre and Rodgers were winners of one Super Bowl prior to the arrival of their replacements. This even goes down to the fact that Favre turned 36-years-old during Rodgers’ rookie season, and Rodgers is 36 in what will be Love’s.
On the show, Favre said he has spoken with Rodgers since the draft ended and that the Packer QB was “surprised.”
Favre went on to say: “I don’t know this for certain, but I guarantee you it’s got the wheels turning in Aaron’s mind. Which, if that’s the case, then that means there’s a chip on his shoulder toward the organization that otherwise was not there. And so all he needs is a reason other than this reason to expedite that.”
Packers 1st Round Pick: Jordan Love
The addition of Jordan Love seems like a sensible move for a franchise to make, considering the wear-and-tear of 15 NFL seasons on Rodgers.
Only a two-star recruit coming out of high school, Love’s only FBS scholarship offer came from Utah State. He went on to throw for 8,600 yards and 60 touchdowns in his three years in Logan, and despite his two-star pedigree, he seems poised for NFL success. Some other two-star recruits who went on the NFL stardom include WR Victor Cruz, RB Chris Johnson, WR Jordy Nelson, DE JJ Watt and S Eric Weddle.
One of Love’s faults, though, was his penchant for turnovers. This past season as a junior, Love led the nation in interceptions (17). But in the lead up to the draft, Love owned his mistakes.
“You’ve got to take the good with the bad,” Love said at the NFL Combine. “It’s never fun, but if I don’t want to talk about it, I don’t have to throw 17 interceptions next time.” He called his interceptions “learning opportunities.”
Love was the fourth quarterback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft’s first round. He was drafted ahead of the more highly recruited likes of Georgia’s Jake Fromm and Washington’s Jacob Eason. Love is now set to learn from one of the most prolific passers in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers and Jordan Love
Prior the draft, Aaron Rodgers was hoping for a skill position player to be drafted in the first round. Of Rodgers’ 364 career touchdown passes, only one has gone to a player selected in the first round. And in 2019, Green Bay saw 54% of wide receiver snaps taken by undrafted free agents.
Prior to the 2020 NFL Draft, Rodgers made an appearance on the Pat McAfee show. He noted: “We haven’t picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years, so that would be kind of cool.”
That comment, coupled with the surprise of Love’s selection and the similarity to the situation with Favre in 2005 has many speculating about Rodgers’ future with the team.
Brett Favre wasn’t keen on the Aaron Rodgers selection in 2005, and most think Rodgers will react similarly. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has reported that Rodgers and Love have connected since the draft. Also, that the team still has “incredible confidence” in Rodgers, who they expect to remain in Green Bay long term.