What a change a few weeks can make.
The Pack handled the Los Angeles Rams in Week 12, securing a 36-28 victory that was not as close as the one-score total appears to indicate. Afterwards, Adams shared with the NFL Network a conversation he had with Beckham two days before, the content of which indicated the shift in Adams’ professional position toward his now-Los Angeles counterpart.
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Succinctly put, Adams’ sentiment holds true to an old adage synonymous with the true spirit of competition: If you aren’t with me, you’re against me.
“We did talk two days ago, he said he needed a jersey after the game,” Adams said, via NFL Network. “I told him go get a Cooper Kupp jersey since that’s obviously his guy and that’s who he want to be with.”
Beckham Blames Packers Front Office for Free Agency Miss
The Cleveland Browns cut bait with Beckham on November 5, following a failed football marriage that lasted approximately two and a half seasons. He cleared waivers four days later and entered the open market a free agent.
Despite an injury history and a downturn in production during his stint in Cleveland, suitors quickly began lining up to court the former Pro Bowl wideout. The Packers and the Rams emerged as leaders to land Beckham almost immediately. On Thursday, November 11, less than one week after exiting the Browns organization, Beckham signed a one-year deal worth up to $4.25 million to play with Kupp in Los Angeles.
ESPN insider Jordan Schultz reported the following day that Beckham chose the Rams over the Packers because he was insulted by a “lowball” offer from Green Bay’s front office, who refused to come up from the so-called insulting number upon further negotiations. ESPN’s Adam Schefter echoed that reporting in a story of his own published Sunday, November 28.
The timing of the wideout’s signing was fortuitous for Los Angeles, as Rams wide receiver Robert Woods went down for the season with an ACL tear one day after the team secured Beckham. However, Beckham has been hit-or-miss in the two games he’s played in Woods’ absence. Against the San Francisco 49ers on November 15, Beckham caught just two passes for a total of 18 yards. He was better the following week vs. the Packers, grabbing five balls for 81 yards and the first TD of his Rams tenure. Both games, however, ended in decisive losses for Los Angeles.
Adams, Kupp Competed for More Than Just Beckham’s Services This Season
Kupp won the battle for Beckham, though the prize has yet to prove worth the value attributed to it, at least in terms of on-field production translating into notches in L.A.’s win column. He’s also winning another scuffle with Adams — the fight to be the league’s top wide receiver.
Adams has caught 80 passes through 11 games played, good for fourth in the NFL this season. He’s also amassed 1,083 receiving yards, which is the league’s second-highest total to date. Kupp is leading all receivers in both categories through 11 appearances of his own, with 92 catches for 1,237 yards.
Kupp’s leads will grow Sunday, when the Packers take their bye week. The Rams have already had their weekend off, but Adams has missed a game due to the league’s virus protocol, which is why he will have one fewer outing to amass season totals than will Kupp should both wideouts remain healthy enough to play every week for the remainder of the year.
Kupp also leads Adams in receiving touchdowns, with 10 to his Green Bay counterpart’s 5. But Adams is ahead of Kupp where it matters most — riding shotgun alongside Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Playoff race while Kupp and Rams QB Matt Stafford are firmly fastened in the backseat.
Green Bay (9-3) currently occupies the No. 2 seed in the conference, a half-game behind the leading Arizona Cardinals (9-2) who the Packers handed one of their two losses earlier this season. Green Bay also holds the tie-breaker over the Rams (7-4), who would be the No. 5 seed in the NFC if the playoffs started today.
While Kupp and the Rams have been winning the battles for Beckham and receiving statistics, Adams and the Packers have been winning the war for a trip back to the Super Bowl in 2022.