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Matt LaFleur: Other players we targeted got drafted, Jordan Love was next on the board

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine the expected win totals for each team in the NFC North as the Bears and Vikings try to close the gap on the Packers.

Packers coach Matt LaFleur is pushing back against the idea that Green Bay was looking for a replacement for Aaron Rodgers in the draft.

LaFleur said that the Packers just ended up with Love because he was the best player left on their draft board after some other players were selected, and not because they were specifically ready to move on from Rodgers.

“It was just one of those situations where there were a couple guys targeted that had just previously been picked and Jordan was the next guy on the board, and so we went with the best player at the time,” LaFleur said on ESPN Radio in Wisconsin.

But that explanation flies in the face of the fact that the Packers traded up in the first round to draft Love. It’s one thing to see a player fall in your lap and draft him, but it’s something else to trade up to draft a player. That suggests not only that the Packers wanted Love specifically, but that they wanted him badly enough that they didn’t want to wait and risk some other team drafting him before their pick came up.

Rodgers remains the Packers’ starting quarterback for now, and LaFleur wants to keep him happy. But the reality is, the Packers wouldn’t have traded up for Love if they expected Rodgers to play out the remaining four years on his contract.