The Green Bay Packers have more than just Aaron Rodgers to worry about when it comes to the long-term integrity of their offense.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Packers and Davante Adams have broken off talks for a long-term contract extension after months of fruitless negotiations, leaving things between the organization and its top wide receiver “in a bad place” with days to go until the start of 2021 training camp.
Rapoport also indicated part of the problems lies in the Packers’ unwillingness to acknowledge as the league’s highest-paid wide receiver, an honor that currently belongs to Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins and his $27.5 million average salary. Per his sources, there are no current plans for talks to resume between them.
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Packers’ Outlook of Retaining Adams Grim
The Packers are in a difficult situation mostly of their own making when it comes to Adams. While the 28-year-old wideout has continually delivered for the Packers over the past few seasons and set himself apart as one of the NFL’s elite, Green Bay is looking at a dire salary-cap situation in 2022 after restructuring numerous deals this offseason to assemble an “all-in” squad for the upcoming season. They are currently projected to be $34.57 million over the cap next year — and that’s before factoring in whatever enormous cap hit an extension for Adams would carry.
There is also the Rodgers of it all. Adams and the Packers’ veteran quarterback have cultivated an electric connection over the past several seasons together in Green Bay, one that was never more obvious than in 2020 when they paired up to score 20 touchdowns across 16 games (counting the playoffs). If Rodgers is suddenly no longer part of the Packers’ long-term plans, though, Adams recognizes it could sway his final decision when he reaches free agency.
“I’m not planning on going anywhere,” Adams told Bleacher Report on June 24.” Obviously, the quarterback situation helps it, but the stars got to align across the board as far as contractually. We’ll figure all that stuff out and let it happen. I’ll be at training camp like I said regardless, we’re going to play the season, and we’ll see how all of that pans out.”
Could Packers Turn Attention to Others?
The Packers and Adams may not have plans to resume contract discussions in the near future, but that certainly doesn’t mean the conversation is over. Once Rodgers’ situation is resolved, for better or worse, it should become easier for Adams and his reps to figure out what a future in Green Bay is going to look like. The same type of resolution should also grant the Packers some financial clarity moving forward, potentially giving them more ammunition to do business with their star pass-catcher.
And yet, it wouldn’t be unlike the Packers to hold their ground and let Adams test the market instead. It could make more sense financially for them to re-invest in others such as Marquez Valdes-Scantling or Allen Lazard if either (or both) of them breaks out during the 2021 season. The jury is also still out on how much value third-round rookie Amari Rodgers and veteran Devin Funchess will bring to the upcoming year.
That’s not to say any of the bunch will adequately replace Adams’ value individually. He is after all deserving of elite money. With Matt LaFleur’s creative playbook capable of doing damage with more than just skilled wideouts, though, it isn’t difficult to envision a future iteration of the Packers offense where the run game sets the tone behind a young and mobile new quarterback in Jordan Love.