Aaron Rodgers is starring in the Packers’ offseason drama, but he’s not the only cast member. Team officials should now be aware that the uncertainty of Rodgers’ future in Green Bay is starting to have ripple effects.
While the focus has been on a potential breakup between the Packers and their NFL MVP quarterback, All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams is unsigned beyond the 2021 season. Adams’ stellar play in the prime of his career makes him worthy of being the game’s highest-paid receiver with his next contract.
There’s no doubt that a big part of Adams’ big success has been his uncanny chemistry with Rodgers. So if there’s no guarantee Rodgers that will be there for 2022, Adams has less motivation to re-sign in Green Bay.
Adams addressed his plans in an interesting interview with Bleacher Report. He suggested that the QB situation is something that could affect when and where he signs, “praying” for now for Rodgers not going anywhere.
There are plenty of NFL teams that hope Adams goes somewhere. While Adams was being open with BR, Raiders QB Derek Carr did likewise in his interview with ABC 30 of Fresno, Calif. Carr wasn’t shy about wanting to recruit Adams — his former Fresno State go-to guy — to play with him again in Las Vegas. Should Adams somehow become a free agent, Carr is ready to make a “full court press” to make him a Raider.
Rodgers and Adams are the unquestioned best current quarterback-receiver duo in the NFL. Adams is coming off his best pro season, catching 115 of 149 targets for 1,374 yards and a career-high 18 touchdowns — in only 14 games. He will make $16.76 million in salary and bonuses in 2021.
Adams’ second NFL contract was for four years and $58 million. He ranks only 18th among wideouts in average annual salary. He should be looking at around $25 million per season with around $60 million in guaranteed money in his next deal.
The Packers’ cap situation isn’t great for the rest of 2021, but next year they should have a lot more wiggle room to finagle another contract for Adams, thanks to a significant rise in the cap tied with league’s continued revenue boom. There’s every reason to try to get a deal done before Adams can hit the market.
But it’s also difficult for Adams to commit on any numbers when the Packers’ commitment to Rodgers — and vice versa — is wavering. Without Rodgers, one can’t blame Adams for wanting a better, familiar situation vs. the transition of becoming the top target for developing Jordan Love.
DeAndre Hopkins, Stefon Diggs and Julio Jones are three expensive receivers who changed teams via trade the past two offseasons. Hopkins and Diggs stepped into gold mines with their second teams and Jones has a chance to find more treasure in Tennessee. Along with the Raiders, the Colts and Chargers would seem to be strong, welcome second suitors for Adams.
Without Rodgers, Adams wouldn’t have evolved to the same elite level, but now the receiver can be a special No. 1 for any QB. If the Packers can’t end the drama with Rodgers, there’s a fair chance it also will come with the end of Adams’ time with the team.