On the same day that rookies reported for training camp and the Green Bay Packers finally signed rookie third-round wide receiver Amari Rodgers to a contract, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke the news that four-time Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams and the team are no longer having contract talks. According to Rapoport, a key issue is that Green Bay is not willing to make Adams the highest-paid pass-catcher in the sport.
The #Packers and Davante Adams’ reps worked behind the scenes to get a deal done. The proposals have not acknowledged Adams as the highest paid WR, sources say. Green Bay’s classic structure has led to limited options. Now, talks are off with just a few days to go before camp. https://t.co/8m0WM7TTBX— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 23, 2021
On one hand, Adams is clearly the top receiver on the roster and his leaving would give legitimate credence to the people who believe the Packers haven’t done enough to add receiver talent to the roster. On the other hand, Adams will be a 29-year-old after this season, meaning this next contract should be paying for the tail end (and decline) of his prime. Spotrac estimates Adams would command $25 million on the open market.
In the next two years, the Green Bay Packers could offer extensions to the likes of wide receiver Marques Valdes-Scantling, tight end Robert Tonyan, do-everything offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith, cornerback Jaire Alexander, safety Adrian Amos and safety Darnell Savage, all while having to navigate around Aaron Rodgers’ future with the team. The question now becomes “Is the best way for Green Bay to build their team actually to take the gamble that Adams isn’t going to decline in play in his early thirties and pay him like he’s the top pass-catcher in the sport?” That’s up for debate.
Earlier this offseason, Adams spoke to Fox News and told the world that Rodgers’ situation with the team would “play into” an extension. When asked about his negotiations with the Packers, Adams noted, “there’s been talks, just really just talks, but we haven’t really done anything or talked about anything that’s worth mentioning.” This was after Adams claimed he would not hold out due to the league’s new fine system under the 2020 collective bargaining agreement, a statement he made at minicamp.
If Adams does leave Green Bay, Las Vegas, where his former college quarterback Derek Carr is the starter, would likely be the favorite to land the receiver. This offseason, the Carr family simply could not stop talking about Adams, with Derek even claiming an Adams free agency would come with a “full-court press” to pursue him to be a Raider.
If the Packers were the ones to pull the plug on the Adams extension talks, it would not be a surprise. Be it Micah Hyde or Casey Hayward, Green Bay’s former players who did not take the team’s offseason offer before they became free agents have learned a hard truth about the franchise: Once the Packers realize they cannot win the bidding war for a player, they pull out of contract conversations and often refuse to make an offer in free agency, as it only serves to drive up the bids of a player they have already labeled as too expensive to re-sign.