Around the NFL, there may not be all that much excitement for this year’s version of the Packers—they’re young, they’re untested, and Aaron Rodgers is in New York. But within the team and its fan base, this is as highly anticipated a season as there has been in a while.
If Jordan Love (those are three very important words) can show why he was a first-rounder, the defense should improve and the running game remains top-tier with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. Moreover, the schedule is extremely favorable to the Packers, especially in the early going. Their first six opponents had a combined record of 37-65 last year, and only the Lions (who were 9-8) were above .500.
Now, this may be a case of putting the cart well before the horse, but someone who follows the team as closely as anyone — Locked on Packers podcast host Peter Bukowski — sees the Packers as candidates not to simply bide their time and let the rebuild unfold. He sees them being aggressive and trying to set themselves up to be a contender within a year.
That could explain why the Packers were inquiring with the Colts about a trade for star running back Jonathan Taylor. But the Packers have no real need for a running back. A veteran receiver is a different story, though. And Bukowski has quite a name to consider.
“A Davante Adams return?” he said. “Perhaps. Maybe he’d be open to it. He sees Jordan Love balling out, Jordan Love lights them up in Las Vegas and Davante Adams says, ‘Hey, I’d love to come back, come get me.’”
Davante Adams a Potential Trade Candidate: ESPN
It is not that far-fetched of a scenario. Adams could easily find himself on the outs in Las Vegas, considering he wanted to play for the Raiders so that he could team up with friend and college teammate Derek Carr. He’s a six-time Pro Bowl guy who starred for Green Bay for the first eight years of his career, and though he is turning 31 in December, he’s shown no signs of slowing down—he had 100 catches for 1,516 yards and a league-best 14 touchdowns last year.
ESPN insider Dan Graziano wrote this week that Adams could, indeed, hit the trade market, either during the season or in the offseason. Here’s how he put it:
“The Raiders are likely going to be terrible this season, and Adams went there to play with a quarterback who got benched before Adams’ first season with the team ended and is now in New Orleans. If he doesn’t believe he fits in the Jimmy Garoppolo-led offense, and if the season in Las Vegas gets off to a bad start, Adams could absolutely start making noise about wanting out. And coach Josh McDaniels has never been shy about trading away players he doesn’t believe fit his program.”
Offseason Could Be the Time for Packers’ Move
Graziano does say that a potential trade of Adams would likely have to wait until the offseason, in part because of Adams’ guaranteed $16.9 million guarantee for next season. But, hey, if the Packers kicked the tire on Taylor before this season, they’ll definitely be open for business on a trade next offseason, provided this year is a solid one.
And the Packers have an extra first-round draft pick in their quiver, likely the Jets’ first-rounder if Aaron Rodgers stays healthy enough to play at least 65% of the team’s offensive snaps in 2023.
“There’s a roadmap here for the Packers to get a star if they want to,” Bukowski said. “What I find interesting about all this is just the fact that there was a conversation in Green Bay I think speaks to the team going, ‘We’re going to be. Forget the outside noise, we’re going to be good.’ … I’m not going to be surprised if Brian Gutekunst takes a big swing here if this season goes the way they think it could go.”