The Green Bay Packers could be heading back to the trade market to find Davante Adams’ replacement in their offense for next season.
According to Jack Settleman of Snapback Sports, the Packers have made calls to the Seattle Seahawks to inquire about the trade availability of Pro Bowl wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. They need a new No. 1 pass-catcher after dealing Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this month and have enough draft capital — multiple picks in the first, second and fourth rounds — to be competitive in the trade market.
Settleman also said the Kansas City Chiefs have reached out about Lockett and Metcalf as well. They also recently traded away their top receiver in a deal that sent Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins and netted them five draft picks to build for the future.
The Packers currently have four selections in the top 60 picks of the 2022 NFL draft, having acquired their best pick (No. 22 overall) in their trade with the Raiders. They also have compensatory picks in the fourth and seventh rounds and an additional pick in the seventh for trading Ka’dar Hollman to Houston last August, but they do not have a selection in the sixth round — as their original pick was traded for Randall Cobb.
While the 2022 class of rookie receivers is strong enough for a team to double-dip in the draft, the Packers could instead flip some of their newly-acquired assets for an experienced receiver who can immediately fill the void as their top pass-catcher in 2022. Realistically, that could be either Lockett or Metcalf if the Seahawks are willing to trade, but both players would come with their own set of challenges for the Packers to overcome.
Lockett Pricey, Metcalf Looking to Get Paid
The value of adding a receiver such as Lockett or Metcalf is obvious in terms of production. Lockett, 29, was one of Russell Wilson’s favorite passing targets over his last several seasons in Seattle and is coming off his third consecutive year as a 1,000-yard receiver. Meanwhile, Metcalf, 24, has been similarly consistent and is even a touch more explosive than Lockett with an average of 14.7 yards on 216 receptions over his first three seasons in the NFL, setting his career-high of 1,303 receiving yards in 2020.
It isn’t hard to imagine how either of them might thrive as the No. 1 guy for four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Packers, however, would have to navigate some financial difficulties to acquire either one of them. Lockett just signed a four-year, $69.2 million contract extension with the Seahawks last offseason and would get increasingly expensive for the Packers over the next few seasons, going from a modest cap hit of $10.050 million in 2022 to $16.75 million in 2023 to $23.95 million in both 2024 and 2025. A restructure could solve the problem to an extent, but it still creates an increasingly unfavorable cap situation for the Packers with a receiver who will turn 30 this September.
As for Metcalf, the ascendant receiver is heading into the final year of his rookie contract in 2022 and will deservedly be looking to get paid like a top-level receiver on his next contract. The Packers would at least have the advantage of being able to negotiate with him first if they traded for him and could potentially lock him down as their long-term No. 1 receiver with a flashy new contract, but they also run the risk of losing him to another team and essentially trading for a one-year rental.
That said, for both cases, there is no reason to assume the Packers are unwilling to take on a significant financial burden for a new receiver. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Packers had offered to pay Adams more than he will make on his new deal with Las Vegas and only agreed to trade him because he refused to play on the franchise tag and wanted to play with his former college quarterback, Derek Carr, and his childhood team, the Raiders.
If the Packers thought they could fit Adams as the NFL’s highest-paid receiver on their budget, then finding a way to pay for Lockett or Metcalf is within the realm of possibility.