While everyone else -- including former teammate Brett Favre -- has weighed in on the Packers' decision to trade up to select quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the draft, Aaron Rodgers waited over two weeks to offer his thoughts on the situation.
Rodgers, speaking to the media Friday afternoon, said that he is looking forward to working with Love, who the Packers traded up to select with the 26th overall pick.
"I think the initial reaction [to the Packers selecting Love] was surprise," Rodgers said, via the team's official website. "Not gonna say that I was thrilled by the pick, but I understand. The organization is not only thinking about the present but the future, and I respect that. I understand their focus and their mindset."
Rodgers, who is entering his 16th season with the Packers and his 13th season as the team's starting quarterback, said that had a "great conversation" with Love the day after he was drafted. Rodgers said that he is hoping to develop a strong rapport with Love while citing previous working relationships with former Packers backup quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Brett Hundley, among others.
"I'm excited to work with him," Rodgers said of Love, the fourth quarterback taken in the draft behind Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. "He seems like a really good kid with a really good head on his shoulders."
While he said that he would like to finish his career with the Packers, Rodgers said that that may be out of his control if he decides to play beyond his current contract, which is set to expire after the 2023 season.
"[The selection of Love] reinforces the adage that you can only control what you can control," Rodgers said. "Like any great athlete, there's things that are out of my control. That's very important to me, but that's truly out of my control. What I can control is my play and make that decision, at any point, a hard one ... If there feels like a time where I feel like I can play at a high level, and my body feels great, there's been other great players that have gone onto play elsewhere."
One of those players was Favre, who finished his career with the Vikings after Rodgers replaced him as Green Bay's starter. Rodgers acknowledged the similarities between his current situation and the one Favre found himself in after the Packers spent a first round pick on Rodgers back in 2005. Rodgers also said that he sees similarities between himself a Love, a fellow California native who overcame similar obstacles to reach the NFL.
Love, like Rodgers, was woefully under-recruited coming out of high school. Like Rodgers, Love also had to wait a few years before becoming a full-time starter at the college ranks. Rodgers actually played at Butte Community College before starting at California, while Love didn't become a full-time starter until his third year at Utah State. And despite their success in college, both quarterbacks were still on the board late in the first round of their respective drafts.
In Green Bay, Rodgers was given the opportunity to learn from a future Hall of Fame quarterback, which is what Love will now get the opportunity to do. While he was forced to sit and watch for three years, Rodgers eventually blossomed into a Hall of Fame-caliber player. The Packers are surely hoping to one day say the same thing about Love one day.
As he alluded to on Friday, the Packers' selection of Love does put into question whether or not Rodgers will mimic the way Favre ended his Hall of Fame career. Rodgers, however, isn't entirely worried about the end of his career. Instead, he is focused on what the Packers can do with their opportunity in 2020.
"I like where we're at," Rodgers said of the Packers' current roster. "What we accomplished last year was pretty amazing. I like where we're at. As always, we're expecting those young guys, those rookies, to make that big jump and play some big roles for us."