The Green Bay Packers front office has not done a great job of reassuring the fan base of what the future will hold for the franchise and some of their key pieces. Aaron Rodgers and his apparent unhappiness with Brian Gutekunst has been talked into exhaustion. There’s still no plan in place for the league MVP who apparently has made it clear he wants out.
While that mess will take a while to sift through, what’s going on with Davante Adams‘ contract situation?
Adams is set to be a free agent at the end of the 2021 season. This offseason would seem to be the time to hash out an extension with one of the best wide receivers in football. Adams will be entering his age-28 season and has far and away been playing the best football of his career. Sure, the franchise tag and other outlets exist, so the Packers wouldn’t technically have to work out an extension this offseason. But what’s the holdup?
Recently, Adams appeared on The Herd with Colin Cowherd and cast doubt about his own future in Green Bay if No. 12 is gone. This didn’t do a lot of good for the minds of Packers fans as Adams said he would have to “do some extra thinking if my guy (Rodgers) wasn’t there.”
Despite this, it seems perplexing that Green Bay hasn’t worked out a new deal yet with Adams, and it leaves the mind to wander into wonder about how different things could look after this season.
Keeping Adams around is absolutely essential for the Packers.
This front office has been mercilessly ridiculed for not doing enough at the wide receiver position the last couple of years. The overwhelming reason that it hasn’t completely blown up into more is because of the connection of No. 12 and No. 17 and because Adams has been so damn good that it’s masked the lack of depth elsewhere at wideout for the Packers.
As a result, one would assume Gutekunst would be backing up the Brinks truck himself, but that has yet to be the case.
There’s the possibility that the two ends have had a dialogue and are far apart on numbers. There’s the possibility it’s still the goal of the Packers to work something out by the end of summer. There’s yet another possibility that what Adams said to Cowherd recently carries more weight than what was initially thought and that he is waiting in some form or fashion to see what happens with Rodgers and his career in Green Bay.
The Packers did pretty good work during the Ted Thompson era of sticking with wide receivers that they had drafted that burst onto the scene throughout their careers. Guys like Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb were held onto for nine and eight years, respectively, in Green Bay. While it would’ve been sweet to see both play their entire careers in the green and gold, it wasn’t in the cards. However, Nelson only lasted one more year in the league (with Oakland) after spending nine with the Packers, and Cobb has seen his production dip in his last two years since departing the Packers at the end of his prime years.
Greg Jennings‘ case was more eyebrow-raising than the others. After seven successful seasons in Green Bay, he turned down an offer to return the Packers and signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Jennings lasted three more years in the league — two with the Vikings, one with the Miami Dolphins — but his production was nowhere near what it was in Green Bay with Rodgers.
These cases were recent and deal with star wide receivers for the Packers, but they also took place during the Thompson era. While Gutekunst is now the general manager, he has been in Green Bay since 1998 and saw firsthand how Thompson handled these types of negotiations.
There’s a legitimate case to be made that Adams is better in his prime than all three of the aforementioned former targets for Rodgers. None of Nelson, Jennings, or Cobb ever reached the discussion of “best receiver in the league” during their years with the Packers.
Adams is firmly entrenched in that conversation, and it should lead to a handsome payday.
Green Bay has a lot of decisions to make. It starts with Rodgers and salvaging that relationship if that’s possible at this point. They extend out elsewhere, though to decisions regarding a contract like Adams’. It seems like an impossibly easy decision for the Packers to extend Tae, yet nothing has popped up as a blip on the radar yet.
Plenty of time remains for the two sides to work out a new deal that will put Adams at the top of the wide receiver food chain for contracts, but if it drags on into training camp with no new deal reached, the anxiety and the attention will become greater and greater.