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2020 NFL Draft

Packers, Steelers Take Different Tracks with Aging Quarterbacks

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The most shocking moment of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday came when the Packers traded up to draft Jordan Love.

Green Bay planning for the future instead of trying to help their current situation with Aaron Rodgers surprised everyone.

It’s the exact opposite of the approach the Pittsburgh Steelers have used when it comes approaching the final years of Ben Roethlisberger’s tenure with the team.

Instead of being focused on trying to find his replacement, the Steelers have poured every piece of cap space and draft capital they have into making the team better for Big Ben’s last run.

The Steelers have made unprecedented moves, trading draft picks, making splashes in free agency and backloading contracts to try to push all the available talent onto the field during Roethlisberger’s last years.

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But Green Bay has experience with the opposite approach. Despite a rocky relationship, Rodgers sat behind Brett Favre for three years before eventually taking the reins and winning a Super Bowl of his own — against Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

But Rodgers was a consensus top-five pick that fell down into Green Bay’s lap. This time, the Pack mysteriously traded up — over a bunch of teams that seemed unlikely to take a quarterback — to take Love, who most evaluators saw as a second-day pick.

The reach for the quarterback, and the continued inability to surround Rodgers with top talent, could make for unhappy times in Cheese Town.

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