SALT LAKE CITY — This probably wasn't how former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love hoped to see his name trend on Twitter.
On the day that former college quarterbacks like Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, BYU's Zach Wilson, Ohio State's Justin Fields and North Dakota State's Trey Lance were likely to join the league as first-round NFL Draft picks, Love found his name floating among the rest thanks to leaked report involving his starting quarterback in Green Bay.
Hours before the start of the 2021 NFL draft, ESPN (and others) reported that Aaron Rodgers had grown discontent with the Green Bay Packers, a move seemingly set on forcing a trade out of Green Bay and leaving the organization in the hands of Love — or another quarterback-to-be-named by the end of Thursday night.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, who ranks among the NFL's top news breakers, said the reigning MVP was "disgruntled" with the organization and that the Packers are "aware" of those feelings enough that team president Mark Murphy, general manager Brian Gutekunst and head coach Matt LaFleur all made separate trips to visit the 37-year-old signal caller during the offseason.
"As we've stated since the season ended, we are committed to Aaron in 2021 and beyond," Gutekunst told ESPN. "Aaron has been a vital part of our success and we look forward to competing for another championship with him leading our team."
Gutekunst doubled down after the first round of the draft.
"We are not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," he said clearly and bluntly Thursday night.
More on Aaron Rodgers' being unhappy with the Packers:https://t.co/LS1yFNDLtK— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2021
The San Francisco 49ers reportedly entertained a trade with the Packers involving Rodgers for the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, and the Los Angeles Rams were in talks about Rodgers before signing Matthew Stafford in January, according to other reports. But neither of those proposals have been finalized.
Love was drafted with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, after the Packers traded up via a pick swap with the Miami Dolphins at No. 30. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound quarterback signed a four-year rookie contract reportedly worth $12 million, with a $6.6 million signing bonus before entering the season as Rodgers' top backup.
Rodgers reportedly took notice of the move, telling "The Pat McAfee Show" in April that the draft-day decision took his fate out of his own hands — as pro sports are prone to do.
"The draft was actually not the moment of change...— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 5, 2021
The perspective adjustments & course corrections with my own personal life, headspace, happened before that. The draft was an opportunity for those to play out in real time"@AaronRodgers12#PatMcAfeeShowLIVEpic.twitter.com/gqgtPXfXEV
"I've just always spoken the truth and been honest about my opinions and where things are at," he said. "And understanding that with that pick, that did take my future out of my control."
Love has yet to play a single down in the regular season for Green Bay, which finished last year 13-3 and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Packers lost to Tom Brady and Tampa Bay 31-26 in the NFC Championship.