The name that Las Vegas Raiders fans will be keeping the closest eye on this offseason will be Davante Adams. The All-Pro wide receiver is headed for free agency and leaving the Green Bay Packers is very much in play. Adams has cemented himself as one of the NFL’s best wide receivers in recent years and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down.
What connects him to the Raiders is his relationship with quarterback Derek Carr. The two played together at Fresno State and remain close friends. Carr even said previously that he planned to heavily recruit the wide receiver once he hits free agency. Typically players as good as Adams never reach free agency but the Packers do things differently. The team is stretched for cap space this offseason and it appears their only option for keeping the wide receiver will be to use the franchise tag on him.
Green Bay hasn’t used the franchise tag since 2010 and it’s possible they actually let Adams hit the open market. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst had a chance to speak with the media ahead of the offseason and discussed the situation surrounding Adams.
“It’s not something we like to do,” Gutekunst said of the franchise tag. “We’d certainly not like to do that if we don’t have to. We’d sort of like to come up with a long-term deal that works for both sides. But that’s a hypothetical and a lot of things have to happen before we get to that point.”
Gutekunst wasn’t ready to make any definitive statements quite yet.
“There’s a lot of things to be determined there,” Gutekunst said.
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Adams Could Still Get Tagged
The Packers may not have used the franchise tag since 2010 but they also haven’t had a player as good as Adams about to head to free agency. Not using the tag doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If they tag Adams and he refuses to play, the Packers can just trade him for some draft picks. That’s certainly better than letting him go for nothing.
It’s also possible that Adams still gets a long-term deal in Green Bay. That will largely depend on Aaron Rodgers’ future. If he leaves the Packers this offseason, there’s almost no way Adams accepts a long-term deal. If Rodgers commits to the future, then the chances of Adams sticking around go up drastically.
What Does This Mean for Raiders?
This is a situation the Raiders could be watching closely. The team needs a No. 1 wide receiver and Adams’ relationship with Carr gives them a unique advantage over other teams. If Gutekunst is true to his word and doesn’t use the franchise tag, then Adams will be the most sought-after free agent in the entire 2022 class.
There’s no reason the Raiders shouldn’t be seriously interested. New head coach Josh McDaniels‘ focus is on offense and he’d love the chance to work with the superstar wide receiver. The biggest concern is price. Adams is going to want to be the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, which would mean he’s looking for close to $30 million a year. That’s a steep price to pay but he’s also the type of player who could be the difference between an early playoff exit and a legit Super Bowl run.