By Terrance Turner
March 17, 2022
In news that will send shockwaves across the NFL, the Green Bay Packers are trading Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders for two 2022 draft picks, including the Raiders’ first-round pick, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Thursday night. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Adams will sign a new contract for Vegas that is worth $141.25 million over five years — an average value of $28.25 million per year.
The shocking trade reunites Adams with his college quarterback Derek Carr. (Adams and Carr played two seasons together at Fresno State.) For the Packers, it breaks up newly re-signed quarterback Aaron Rodgers from his top target. Just days ago, Rodgers had signed a four-year extension worth well over $150 million, according to ESPN. After weeks of hemming and hawking and even talk of retirement, Rodgers had finally agreed to extend his stay in Green Bay. Now, it looks like he’ll be doing so without his best receiver. An iconic duo, split apart at the seams.
But apparently, Rodgers knew he was about to be without one of his best receivers. According to Ian Rapoport, “While Aaron Rodgers was negotiating his contract, he knew Davante Adams would never play for the #Packers again. The situation was too far gone. Something had to give. And when Adams informed GB he wasn’t playing on the tag, talks got fired up,” he tweeted tonight. “Now, Adams will be on the #Raiders.”
It’s the end of an era — one that proved spectacularly successful for both players. According to Yahoo! Sports, Adams had 123 catches on 169 targets last season, for a total of 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2020, he was even better, with 115 catches on 149 targets totaling 1,374 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. But the Packers’ efforts to keep Adams in Green Bay reportedly had some complications.
Earlier this week, NFL reporters delivered some disconcerting news: The Green Bay Packers and Davante Adams remained “far apart” on a long-term agreement that would keep Adams in Green Bay, according to NFL Network insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. Speaking on “Good Morning Football” on Monday, Rapoport said, “Based on negotiations and talks and how things are going, Tom, this relationship is not in a great place.”
“Something has to give,” Rapoport declared, adding that there’s “nothing good between the Packers and Davante Adams.” Mr. Adams informed the team he’s not willing to pay for the franchise-tag price of $20.5 million in 2022. (A franchise tag is a designation that allows NFL teams to select one player who’s set to be an unrestricted free agent and guarantee another year under contract if certain conditions are met, according to NBC Sports. If there’s an exclusive franchise tag, a player can reject the team’s offer, but he would not be able to sign with another team for the remainder of the NFL season.
The Packers used the non-exclusive tag, which means that Adams can negotiate a free-agent deal with another team but the Packers would have the right to match it or receive two first-round picks in the 2022 draft in compensation. (An exclusive tag would have prevented Adams from shopping himself but it would have cost the Packers more money than the non-exclusive tag).
Pelissero suggested that the two sides were in disagreement on both the structure and the length of the contract. “If you’re Davante Adams, you’re 29 years old, a five-year extension would eat up the remainder of your prime,” Pelissero said. “This potentially could take a while.” (Apparently not.) If the two sides had not come to an agreement by March 16, the Packers would be on the hook for the $20.5 million cap hit that comes with Adams’ contract. That appears to no longer be a concern. Stay tuned for more details.