The good news for the Packers: Aaron Rodgers is still in Green Bay after signing a contract extension. The bad news: His favorite target moved to Las Vegas.
In one of the most surprising moves of the offseason, the Packers agreed to trade Davante Adams to the Raiders in exchange for first- and second-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. In addition to reaching his desired destination, Adams signed what was the biggest contract for wide receiver in NFL history until Tyreek Hill set a new record only days later.
MORE: Grading NFL’s 2022 quarterback moves
Multiple reports suggested Adams was unable to come to terms on a long-term deal with Green Bay, leading the Packers to use the franchise tag on the 29-year-old. Adams had no interest in playing under the franchise tag, and the relationship between the two sides was simply “too far gone,” according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
In their first public comments since the trade was completed, some of the highest-ranking members of the organization essentially confirmed what we already knew. There was no way to salvage the situation.
What Packers said about the Davante Adams trade
During his Monday media availability, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told reporters finalizing the deal with the Raiders was a “hard decision,” but it was ultimately “best for [Adams] and the organization.” He also noted he didn’t regret how the front office handled contract negotiations with Adams last year.
“I felt really good about the communication with Davante and his agent before the season, through the season and after,” Gutekunst said.
Despite speculation that the futures of Adams and Rodgers were tied together, Gutekunst made it clear Rodgers knew Adams would never play for the Packers again.
BG says 12 knew 17 wouldn’t return. “It’s very much been a partnership over last year moving forward with all those decisions. He spoke greatly about having some impact on people that affect his job, so certainly as we went through, it was important for me and us to communicate.”
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) March 28, 2022
On Sunday, Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the Adams trade was “tough” for him and the franchise, but the deal felt inevitable.
“Certainly he’s a guy that’s going to be tough to replace and so you never want to let great players like that walk away from your team. But, like I said, it’s just one of those deals where some tough decisions have to be made,” LaFleur said. “Unfortunately, in the National Football League, there’s a thing called the salary cap and you gotta get below that as well. So everything factored into those decisions.”
What are the Packers’ options at wide receiver?
Adams was coming off the best season of his career in terms of receptions (123) and receiving yards (1,553). To point out the obvious, there really is no way to replace arguably the best wide receiver in the league.
In order to keep the offense rolling, the Packers will have to fill the wide receiver room with multiple playmakers. They have Randall Cobb, Allan Lazard, Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor and Juwann Winfree on the current depth chart, but they could pursue other talent through different avenues.
The Sporting News’ Joe Rivera recently laid out some possibilities:
- Trade targets: Brandin Cooks, DK Metcalf
- Free agency targets: Keelan Cole, Will Fuller, Jarvis Landry
- NFL Draft: Treylon Burks, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams
“We’re going to absolutely have to add some pieces to that room and, you know, we got to construct our offense around what we have,” LaFleur said. “You can’t look back and you gotta move forward.”