Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love said he tries to avoid the endless talk about his future with the organization, though it can be difficult at times.
"I am human," Love told reporters Thursday. "And that stuff's going to be there, regardless. But I think I do a pretty good job at compartmentalizing it. I don't even want to think about that stuff."
The 2020 first-round pick is entrenched as the Packers' backup because Aaron Rodgers has continued to play at an elite level, winning the NFL MVP Award each of the past two seasons, which has raised questions about whether Love will eventually have to switch teams for his shot as a starter.
"I can't control what's going on. I have no idea what might happen," he said. "So rather than stressing about things that might happen, things that might not happen, I'm just here right now. I'll take what I'm given and run with it."
After a few years where Rodgers' future in Green Bay was questioned amid rumors of discontent, he declared Tuesday he's "definitely" going to finish his career with the team. He jokingly added that stance will hold "unless they trade me."
The 38-year-old California native didn't put a timetable on how much longer he's going to play, saying he makes the decision on a year-to-year basis and then becomes "100 percent invested" once he makes the choice to keep playing.
"This is my 18th season. Of course you think about the next chapter and what's next in your life all the time. It doesn't mean you're not fully invested," Rodgers said.
While it's rare for an athlete in a major sport to play beyond the age of 40, Tom Brady has kind of broken the age curve for quarterbacks as he continues to post terrific numbers into his mid-40s. Brady briefly retired this offseason before returning for his age-45 season.
Given the way Rodgers has played in recent seasons, it's plausible he could follow a similar path if the competitive fire continues to burn in the years ahead.
In turn, the Packers are going to face a key decision on Love next offseason.
That's when they'll either have to exercise or decline the fifth-year option in his rookie contract for 2024. The value is dependent on a variety of factors, including the average salary at the position and performance.
For this year's group (the 2019 draft class), the basic quarterback option was worth $19.6 million for players who didn't reach any thresholds based on playing time or Pro Bowl appearances, per Over The Cap.
So Love's option will likely check in a little over $20 million based on the rising salaries for QBs, and that's an untenable figure if he's going to remain a backup.
The franchise tag, which also comes with a lucrative one-year salary, won't be an option in that scenario, and the Packers wouldn't want to lose a player who was a first-round investment for nothing.
It makes a Love trade next offseason a probable outcome if Rodgers' intentions haven't changed.
The 23-year-old Utah State product made six appearances last season, including his first career start while Rodgers was going through COVID-19 protocols.
He completed 19 of his 34 throws for 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 13-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He added 23 rushing yards.
It was a modest performance, but not much more could be expected from a player who's received such limited first-team opportunities since being drafted.
Love explained Thursday he's happy with the progress he's made given the circumstances.
"What it comes down to is, I'm always confident in myself, but it's about being a lot more comfortable, relaxed and being able to process things at lot faster," he said. "And that all ties into it. I definitely feel very confident in myself right now."
Love is likely going to get an opportunity to become a full-time starter in the NFL at some point, but whether that happens in Green Bay or elsewhere remains a mystery.