Making it in the National Football League (NFL) is challenging in itself, but even more so if your pathway is blocked by one of the game’s superstars. Jordan Love, a young quarterback from Bakersfield, California, is a testament to that.
The Green Bay Packers drafted Love at a time when Aaron Rodgers had been their starting quarterback for 13 seasons. A combination of patience and a little luck resulted in Love replacing the legendary Rodgers and becoming one of the most talked about quarterbacks in the NFL.
Love attended Liberty High School in Bakersfield, California, where he played on the football team. He contemplated quitting football following his father’s death when Love was only 14, but his mother encouraged him not to make any rash decisions.
After serving as the backup quarterback for the freshman team, Love became the starting quarterback midway through his junior year.
Jordan Love’s College Football Career
He left school as a two-star recruit and committed to play college football for the Utah State Aggies, a team highly popular on the MyBookie website. Love redshirted his first year for the Utah State Aggies, debuting as a freshman in 2017.
He played 12 games, starting six, and finished the campaign with 1,631 yards and eight touchdowns. The following year, now a sophomore, Love started all 13 games for the Aggies and set a school record of 3,567 yards with 32 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
In 2019, many of Love’s teammates had graduated, and the Aggies struggled for form, finishing with a 7-6 record. However, Love still threw 3,402 yards and 20 touchdowns, taking him to 8,600 passing yards and 60 touchdowns during his college career. He decided to forgo his senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jordan Love’s First Professional Football Contract
Love excelled during the NFL Scouting Combine, including recording a Wonderlic score of 27 and completing the 40-yard dash in 4.74 seconds; most NFL franchises look for a quarterback with a Wonderlic score of 21.
The Green Bay Packers selected Love as the 26th overall pick in the first round, a move that shocked analysts and the media because the Packers already had an MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.
Love signed a four-year rookie contract worth $12.4 million with a $6.5 million signing bonus. His contract was the first since the rookie pay scale was changed, that a 26th pick in the draft secured a fully guaranteed contract.
Unsurprisingly, Love was not the Packers’ starting quarterback for the 2020 season. In fact, he began as the third choice behind Rodgers and Tim Boyle. Love was inactive for the entire regular season and the playoffs.
2021 saw Love elevated to second-choice after Boyle moved to the Detroit Lions. Love played six games, starting once, during that season. It was a similar story for the youngster in 2022, with Rodgers retaining his place as the starting quarterback and limiting Love to only four brief appearances.
Nobody would have blamed Love for wanting a trade, but he was determined to become the starting quarterback for the Packers.
During the offseason, rumors circulated that Rodgers would retire or be traded. Eventually, Rodgers was traded to the New York Jets, leading to Love’s promotion to the starting quarterback;
he was only the third different starting quarterback for the Packers since 1993! Love started the 2023 season with 245 yards and three touchdown passes in a 38-20 victory over the Chicago Bears.
Love started all 17 of the Packers’ regular season fixtures, completing 372 of his 579 passing attempts (64.2%), throwing 4,159 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions for a passer rating of 96.1. Love also racked up 247 rushing yards from 50 attempts, with four of those attempts ending in touchdowns.
Those statistics ranked Love in the top ten of NFL quarterbacks in passing yards, second behind only Dak Prescott in touchdown passes, and in the top ten in passer ratings of quarterbacks with at least 300 attempts.
Jordan Love’s Offseason Debut
After the Packers finished with a 9-8 record, they progressed to the playoffs, although they were the NFC’s seventh seed. The Packers’ high seeding meant they faced the daunting prospect of traveling to the number two seeds, the Dallas Cowboys, who went 12-5 during the regular season.
The Packers fans did not hold much hope going into the Cowboys clash, not least because Love was making his postseason debut. Any worries disappeared when Love put on the best performance of his career, finishing with 16 completions from 21 attempts (76.2%), 272 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Love’s passer rating was a near-perfect 157.2 as the Packers marched on to a 48-32 victory. The Californian became only the third quarterback in the Super Bowl era to lead their team to at least 40 points on the road in their first playoff start. Rodgers and Baker Mayfield are the other two players.
Love and the Packers are next in action against the San Francisco 49ers on January 20. It is another tough test for Love because the 49ers are the clear favorites to win Super Bowl LVIII and lift the famous Vince Lombardi Trophy in Las Vegas in February.
Based on his outstanding contribution against the Cowboys, Love should go into the 49ers clash confident he can guide his side to an upset.
Jordan Love’s Contract and Salary
Before the 2023 campaign kicked off, Love signed an incentive-laden one-year contract extension instead of exercising his fifth-year option. The extension is worth up to $22.5 million and covers the 2024 season.
So far, in addition to a $10.5 million base salary, Love has earned $4.5 million based on his and the Packers’ performances and stands to receive another $1 million if the Packers win the Super Bowl.
Everything points to Love being offered a shiny, new contract at the end of the current campaign.
Jordan Love’s contract extension with the Packers for the 2024 season, valued up to $22.5 million, reflects both his potential and performance.
With a substantial base salary and additional earnings based on individual and team achievements, including a potential bonus for a Super Bowl win, it’s evident that the Packers value Love’s contributions.
This sets the stage for a likely lucrative new contract offer after the current campaign, underscoring Love’s growing significance to the team.