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Packers' Jordan Love stays mum on contract talks while focusing on how he can build off his success

Love enters the final season of his contract after improving his stock exponentially by leading the NFL’s youngest team to the playoffs in his first year as a starter.
Posted at 6:09 PM, May 21, 2024

GREEN BAY (AP) — Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love isn’t letting the unsettled nature of his contract negotiations prevent him from joining his teammates for organized team activities this week.

Love is preparing to enter the final year of his contract after improving his stock exponentially by leading the NFL’s youngest team to the playoffs in his first season as a starter.

“That’s just something that I’ve always done, trying to be here, get the reps in, get the work in with the guys and just start building that chemistry and getting ready for the season,” Love said.

Love, 25, signed a one-year extension last May that included $13.5 million in guaranteed money with another $9 million in incentives. Love’s late-season surge last season figures to earn him an astronomical raise whenever he signs his new deal.

For comparison’s sake, Detroit’s Jared Goff agreed to terms on a four-year, $212 million extension last week after helping the Lions reach the NFC championship game last season.

“I don’t really know what’s going on, but we’ll see,” Love said of his contract talks. “But I’m not going to get into too much contract stuff.”

Love was more interested in discussing how he could help the Packers build on what they accomplished last season. Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur credited Love’s presence for helping assure the Packers had just about everyone participating for this week’s voluntary workouts.

“We’ve had almost 100% the entire offseason, which has been the best that we’ve had since I’ve been here,” LaFleur said. “And I always think when you look around the league, when your quarterback’s there, it just naturally has a way of attracting everybody to come.”

Aaron Rodgers, the four-time MVP quarterback who preceded Love, didn’t participate in OTAs his last two seasons at Green Bay, though he has done them with the New York Jets since getting traded last year. Many other notable Packers veterans also were missing from those voluntary sessions in 2021 and 2022.

Now the Packers have just about everyone around as they try taking the next step after their 2023 season ended with a 24-21 loss at San Francisco in the NFC divisional playoffs.

Love threw 21 touchdown passes with only one interception during a nine-game stretch that culminated with a 48-32 upset of the Dallas Cowboys in a wild-card playoff game, though he did throw two second-half interceptions in the loss to the 49ers. The last one came in the final minute as the Packers attempted to drive for a tying or winning score.

“It’s something that’s always with you,” Love said. “But at the end of the day, that’s what you’ve got to do, is you’ve got to learn from it, be able to watch it, break it down, see what went wrong, learn from it and grow and move on.”

He ended up completing 64.2% of his passes for 4,159 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season. The only other quarterbacks ever to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns in their first season making multiple starts were Kurt Warner in 1999 and Patrick Mahomes in 2018.

“You’ve got to be able to go out there and do it again,” Love said. “And obviously there’s a lot of goals we didn’t reach last year and things that we’re striving to do this year, so there’s a lot of goals and expectations and things that we’re focusing on this year. There’s no room to get complacent.”

Love said his offseason focuses included improving his footwork and pocket awareness and doing a better job of throwing on the run. His teammates can’t wait to see the results.

“I think his confidence is even greater,” wide receiver Christian Watson said. “His poise is even greater. He’s leading this football team exactly the way that he should. I’m excited to see how he keeps on growing.”

NOTES: OT Zach Tom and TE Tucker Kraft both have torn pectoral muscles that likely will keep them out until at least the start of training camp. Both said they got hurt while lifting weights. “It happened mid-April, so by end of July, maybe end of August, I should be good,” Tom said. … DE Kingsley Enagbare practiced fully Tuesday after the Packers had feared he tore his anterior cruciate ligament late last season. “He never had surgery, didn’t tear it,” LaFleur said. “We dodged a bullet there.” … LaFleur said the Packers will have one-day joint practice sessions at Denver and at home against the Baltimore Ravens in August.