Regardless of who ends up as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ head coach or general manager, one of the first orders of business will be finding a No. 1 wide receiver. Darren Waller is an elite tight end and Hunter Renfrow is an elite slot receiver but the team needs an elite outside threat. Luckily for the team, both free agency and the draft this offseason will be ripe with wide receiver talent.
The prize of free agency will be Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams. He’s arguably the best wide receiver in football and is coming off a season with 1,553 receiving yards, which was a career-high. The Packers are about to have some cap issues and could lose quarterback Aaron Rodgers. They’d love to keep Adams but it could be impossible. Plus, it’s hard to imagine he’d want to return if Rodgers is gone.
Adams is an elite pass catcher and he wants to get paid like it. In fact, he wants to be the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, the wide receiver’s asking price is absurdly high:
Keeping Adams is going to be tough for the Packers, who, right now, are projected to be about $40 million over the salary cap at the start of the league’s new year.
Those close to the situation tell me Adams wants to be the highest-paid receiver in the NFL and will be looking for a contract near $30 million per year. The Packers, at this point, look as though they may go no higher than $24 to $25 million a year.
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Would Raiders Be Willing to Pay That Price?
The price for wide receivers is starting to get very high. What Adams wants could make him one of the highest-paid non-quarterbacks in the NFL. While he’s worth a ton of money, it’s actually not a sure thing that a team will pay him $30 million a year.
The Raiders have major needs on the offensive line and a lot of key defensive players are free agents. The team is projected to have a little bit more than $21 million in cap space but should open up more space with some moves, according to Over the Cap. Giving Adams $30 million will take up pretty much all of whatever cap space the Raiders open up. Now, quarterback Derek Carr has talked about recruiting the wide receiver. He’s due for an extension. Perhaps he could take a discount on his contract under the agreement that the Raiders will pay Adams what he wants. That’s not a guarantee so the team has to hope that the wide receiver would lower his asking price to play with his former college quarterback and play in a state with no state income tax.
Raiders Have Options Outside of Adams
If Adams isn’t a realistic option for Las Vegas, not all hope is lost. Altana Falcons star wide receiver Calvin Ridley could be traded while Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Chris Godwin and Chicago Bears’ Allen Robinson will be free agents. Each of those three would be a great fit and could cost a lot less than Adams.
There are also a lot of good wide receivers coming out of the draft. USC’s Drake London, Alamaba’s Jameson Williams and Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson should be on the Raiders’ radar.