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Brian Gutekunst on Jordan Love’s fifth-year option: It’s a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t played

From Woody Johnson to Jordan Love, Mike Florio and Chris Simms name which individuals are on the positive end of the Aaron Rodgers trade to the Jets.

Of the four quarterbacks who were selected in the first round of the 2020 draft, three have already had their fifth-year options picked up by their respective teams.

It was a mere formality for the Bengals with Joe Burrow and the Chargers with Justin Herbert, while the Dolphins got way ahead of it by announcing their intention to pick up Tua Tagovailoa’s option in March.

But things are a little different for the Packers and quarterback Jordan Love.

Green Bay traded up to select Love at No. 26 overall, setting him up to be Aaron Rodgers’ successor. Now the time has come for Love to be the team’s QB1. And the Packers intend for him to hold that job for years to come.

But General Manager Brian Gutekunst wasn’t quite ready to say if Green Bay would exercise the option — which would fully guarantee Love’s 2024 salary of about $20 million — during his Saturday press conference.

“Yeah, I’ve got to figure that out by Tuesday, I guess, yeah,” Gutekunst said. “We’re kind of still working through that. We’ve been so focused on the draft. We’ve had some preliminary conversations, but we’ll get to that before Tuesday.”

As a follow-up, Gutekunst was asked why the team wouldn’t pick up the option.

“Again, I’ve got to get through that,” Gutekunst said. “It’s a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t played. But at the same time, obviously, we’re moving forward with him. So, we’ll figure that out by Tuesday.”

If the Packers wanted to make Love’s contract more team-friendly for 2024, the club could sign him to a contract extension that goes beyond that season. But even as Love hasn’t been on the field much, $20 million is a pretty low figure for a starting quarterback. And it likely behooves the Packers to pick up the option to have the QB under contract, even if the team ends up signing him to a new deal.

Love has appeared in 10 career games with one start, completing 50-of-83 passes for 606 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.