If the Packers had picked up Jordan Love‘s fifth-year option, they would have owed him $20.3 million fully guaranteed for 2024. If they hadn’t, the team’s starting quarterback would have been due only $2.298 million for 2023, with no commitment beyond this season.
The one-year extension that replaced the fifth-year option became a win-win for player and team.
Via Albert Breer of SI.com (and confirmed by PFT), Love gets the following terms on his new two-year deal:
1. Signing bonus: $8.788 million.
2. 2023 base salary: $1.01 million, fully guaranteed.
3. 2024 base salary: $5.5 million, fully guaranteed.
4. 2024 workout bonus: $500,000.
5. 2024 escalators: Up to $9 million.
That’s $15.8 million over two years.
Breer separately posted the triggers for the $9 million in escalators.
1. $500,000 for 65 percent of the snaps.
2. $1 million for making the Pro Bowl.
3. $500,000 for 65-percent playing time and making the playoffs.
4. $500,000 for 65-percent playing time and winning one playoff game.
5. $1 million for 65-percent playing time and winning the conference championship.
6. $1 million for 65-percent playing time winning the Super Bowl.
7. $500,000 for 65-percent playing time and top 10 in passer rating.
8. $500,000 for 65-percent playing time and top 10 in completion percentage.
9. $500,000 for top 10 in touchdown passes.
10. $500,000 for top 10 in passing yards.
11. $1 million for 65-percent playing time and: (a) 10 or more wins; (b) playoff appearance; or (c) top 10 in passer rating and touchdown passes.
12. Up to $1.5 million, with $500,000 available under up to four different markers: (a) 65-percent playing time and top 16 in passer rating; (b) 65-percent playing time and top 16 in completion percentage; (c) 65-percent playing time and top 16 in passing yards; and (d) 65-percent playing time and top 16 in passing. (Breer’s list doesn’t specify a category of passing; he likely means passer rating.)
To get to the full, maximum, two-year payout of $24.8 million, Love has to among other things lead the Packers to a Super Bowl win. That would obviously make it money very well spent.
He’s likely going to make less than he would have made under the fifth-year option. But he’s emerging with significantly more financial security than he would have had under the final year of his rookie contract.
Some players might have refused this offer, telling the Packers to make a decision on the fifth-year option and to live with the potential consequences. The Packers guessed right that Love would opt for a bird in the hand because, frankly, if he has the kind of year that will unlock the bulk of the escalators for 2024, he would have been in line for a much more lucrative deal next March, from the Packers or someone else.