Among some of the more interesting storylines that have transpired in the NFL this offseason is the displeasure of some of the Green Bay Packers’ biggest stars with the organization.
Aaron Rodgers is the most notable name in this storyline, and the quarterback made it known in April 2021 how unhappy he is with the organization, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. In an odd turn of events, Schefter broke the news on July 29 that Rodgers did decide to renegotiate his contract and now will be a free agent come 2022 rather than 2023.
But just when it looked like Green Bay dodged a bullet, their star wideout also showed his hand when it comes to his feelings towards the Packers.
Wide receiver Davante Adams, who is in the final year of his four-year, $58 million contract, broke off contract extension talks with the Packers in late July, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The two sides apparently have reached a place in which “each side has refused to move off its negotiating spot,” per USA Today’s Tom Silverstein.
This means that the best-case scenario for Green Bay is Adams plays the 2021 season in a Packers uniform and then walks during free agency in 2022. But seeing that Adams is an All-Pro wide receiver coming off a season in which he accumulated 115 catches, 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns, getting some capital for Adams before he walks in 2022 may be in the best interest of the Packers.
That’s why the New England Patriots, who could use another strong pass-catcher, could put together a juicy package for Adams.
At the moment, the Patriots have a former first-round pick on their roster who has publicly made it known he wants out of New England — N’Keal Harry. They also have at least one quarterback on the roster who has proved he isn’t a good fit in the Patriots system but is still young and has plenty of arm talent — Jarrett Stidham. Last, like every other team in the NFL, they have draft capital in 2022.
So here is an intriguing trade package New England could offer Green Bay for Adams:
- WR Davante Adams.
Why Would the Packers Want This Package?
In the event that the 28-year-old wideout was traded out of Green Bay, the Packers would clearly have a need at receiver, which is why giving them Harry, who could be a reclamation project for a team that has a knack for developing receivers, makes plenty of sense.
Part of Rodgers’ displeasure with the Packers was because they drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 draft without giving Rodgers a heads up prior to making the pick. Even though there is a lot to like about Love, who drew comparisons to Patrick Mahomes coming out of college due to his arm strength, there’s no guarantee that Love will be a quality starting quarterback when the opportunity presents itself. That’s why having Stidham would give Green Bay one more option to potentially blossom as the heir to Rodgers.
Neither Harry nor Stidham has a ton of value overall in a trade package based on how little they have done during their first three seasons in the NFL, which is why adding in a first- and third-rounder in 2022 could be just enough to get the Packers to bite on a deal with New England.
Green Bay clearly needs to start planning for the future now, which is why this trade package makes plenty of sense for a team that could be thrust into the post-Aaron Rodgers era very quickly.
Why Would the Patriots Want This Package?
For the six-time Super Bowl champions, this trade would mean getting rid of some of the loose fat on their roster and adding some balance to their football team.
Without Adams, New England has a wide receiver depth chart that consists of Nelson Agholor, Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Kendrick Bourne, Gunner Olszewski, Tre Nixon, Devin Smith, Isaiah Zuber, Marvin Hall, Kristian Wilkseron and Devin Ross. That’s not exactly a grouping that will strike fear into an opposing secondary. However, if you add in Adams and subtract Harry from that group, along with the offseason additions of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith at tight end, then Cam Newton or Mac Jones will have plenty of options inside or outside the hash marks to throw to, which is exactly what an aging Newton and a rookie need.
Newton, Jones, Stidham and Brian Hoyer fill out the Patriots quarterback depth chart currently. But it’s hard to imagine Bill Belichick keeping four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, which is why shipping Stidham away makes sense. Newton and Jones are competing for the starting job, and Hoyer is a mentor with lots of experience in New England’s system, so Stidham is the odd man out. Give Stidham a fresh start with one of the best rosters in the NFC.
The toughest case to make in this trade package for the Patriots is giving up a 2022 first and third-round pick. As it stands, New England only has seven draft picks in 2022 (first-rounder, second-rounder, third-rounder, fourth-rounder, sixth-rounder, and two seventh-rounders). However, when looking at the key to succeeding in today’s NFL, which includes building a championship-caliber team around a quarterback on a rookie deal, it seems fitting to give up some draft capital next year in order to acquire an elite wide receiver to help the Patriots win another championship as quickly as possible.
Yes, trading for Adams would also mean having to give him a new contract. But New England, which has about $13.1 million in available cap space according to Patriots cap expert Miguel Benzan, can afford a multi-year extension.