Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Some within the NFL reportedly believe the Green Bay Packers may soon shift their focus from getting quarterback Aaron Rodgers to return to the team to signing wide receiver Davante Adams to a new contract.
Appearing Saturday morning on SportsCenter, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler said some of those he spoke with wondered if the Packers will “pivot” to Adams since a wideout of his caliber could command anywhere from $25 million to $30 million per season.
One source told Fowler they would do “everything possible” to keep Adams long-term regardless of whether Rodgers or Jordan Love is the starting quarterback moving forward.
Adams is set to enter the final year of his contract in 2021, and he is due for a big raise from the $12.25 million in base salary he is scheduled to earn.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported in April that Rodgers informed some people within the Packers organization that he no longer wanted to play in Green Bay.
Rodgers did not attend mandatory minicamp, and it remains unclear whether he will report to the team at any point. Given his status as the NFL MVP, his situation has understandably dominated headlines this offseason.
If not for the presence of Adams, however, it is fair to wonder whether Rodgers would have even been in the MVP conversation.
Adams enjoyed a career year in 2020 with 115 receptions for 1,374 yards and an NFL-leading 18 touchdowns in 14 games. The catch and touchdown numbers were new career highs for Adams, who was named a Pro Bowler for the fourth time and a First Team All-Pro for the first time.
While injuries have caused Adams to miss time in each of the past four seasons, he has been a highly productive player, posting double-digit touchdown catches in four of the past five years.
The Packers haven’t made much of an attempt to add quality receivers around Adams in recent years, which makes signing him to a new deal even more important.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling was Green Bay’s No. 2 wideout last season, and he finished with just 33 receptions for 690 yards and six touchdowns.
It is difficult to envision Adams playing anywhere except Green Bay next season since the Packers can slap the franchise tag on him even if a long-term contract isn’t reached, but getting him locked up would allow the franchise to focus on other areas of need.
As big as Adams has been for Rodgers in recent years, it can be argued that having him in the fold would be even more significant should Love be the starter this season and beyond.
Love was a first-round pick last year, but he has yet to take an NFL snap, and there are questions about how well he will transition given that his final season at Utah State was a struggle with 20 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions.
Adams can be the safety blanket a young quarterback like Love needs or he can be the go-to guy in a high-flying offense led by a future Hall of Famer in Rodgers. No matter who Green Bay’s quarterback is in 2021 and beyond, Adams may be the biggest key to the offense’s success.