"Aaron is our quarterback and I see him here for a really long time," LaFleur told reporters Sunday.
George Balekji @GeorgeBalekji
From the #Packers zoom call earlier on the question that will follow Matt LaFleur & Aaron Rodgers around all season, how long will #12 remain in Green Bay? "Aaron is our quarterback and I see him here for a really long time. And however long that is I don't think anybody knows." https://t.co/CTL5u3pEdG
As soon as Love's name came off the board, many compared his arrival to that of Rodgers. The Packers used a first-rounder on Rodgers in 2005 despite rostering Brett Favre. Favre and Green Bay had a difficult separation when the team was ready to elevate Rodgers into the starting role in 2008.
The situations aren't necessarily parallels, though, making it even trickier for the Packers to manage this time around.
Whether Favre would continue playing became a year-to-year topic toward the end of his Green Bay tenure. The front office couldn't afford to keep waiting him out and needed to line up a succession plan.
During a July appearance on The Ringer's 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt podcast, the eight-time Pro Bowler remained diplomatic when discussing the draft. He also listed a few different wide receivers the team could've targeted instead in the first round.
The Ringer @ringer
Welcome to a new kind of podcast. This is a hybrid trivia and interview show where athletes and celebrities compete to answer questions related to their lives and careers. This is ‘10 Questions With @KyleBrandt.’ Follow now on @SpotifyPodcasts: https://t.co/67eeK831lz https://t.co/8JFrwTw6Vd
ESPN's Rob Demovsky wrote in April the selection of Love potentially showed how LaFleur wanted to somewhat lessen Rodgers' general influence. The Athletic's Bob McGinn also wrote that he thought the coach "simply had enough of Rodgers' act and wanted to change the narrative" and the team "would gain leverage with their imperial quarterback and his passive-aggressive style."
LaFleur stands to gain nothing from publicly undermining Rodgers or making it look like he's shoving the Packers legend out the door.
Still, LaFleur's comments Sunday naturally lead to a question about what he considers "a really long time." Sooner or later, Love will get a shot because the alternative is wasting a first-round pick on a quarterback who never sees the field.