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PLAYERS & TEAM EARNINGS

Is Green Bay Ready for Davante Adams’ Free Agent Frenzy?

The All-Pro could earn the biggest wide receiver contract in NFL history this offseason — and there’s zero guarantee it will be with Green Bay.

There’s a reason why Davante Adams is such a highly-regarded wide receiver in the NFL. You don’t rank No. 6 on NFL Network’s preseason top 100 list or top Pro Football Focus’ receiver rankings just on reputation alone — you’ve got to do the work.

And the prolific Green Bay Packers wideout just keeps doing it.

His 115 catches last season set a franchise record, and his 18 receiving touchdowns were the most in an NFL season since Randy Moss caught 23 in the New England Patriots’ nearly-perfect 2007 campaign. That combination of at least 100 catches and 18 scores was an NFL first. And on Sunday, Adams caught 11 balls for 206 yards and a touchdown in the Pack’s wild overtime win (and missed field goal fest) at Cincinnati on Sunday.

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It was Green Bay’s first 200-yard receiving game since Jordy Nelson in 2014. Adams leads the league in both receptions (42) and yards (579) so far in 2021, with the Packers off to a 4-1 start.

The 28-year-old also happens to be on the final season of a four-year, $58 million contract, which means he is going to get paid in short order. And based on the value of his ability and accomplishments, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t at least come close to surpassing

  • The biggest wide receiver contract by total value, Amari Cooper’s $100 million
  • The No. 1 wideout deal by average annual value, DeAndre Hopkins’ $27.25 million
  • The most guaranteed money at the position, Julio Jones’ $64 million
No. 1 to No. 7 highest-paid NFL wide receivers by total contract value
No. 8 to No. 14 highest-paid NFL wide receivers by total contract value

Adams has only missed a total of 11 regular season games over his seven-plus seasons, remarkable durability for a receiver. And when he does play, he produces, leading the league in receiving yards per game in 2020 (98.1) and repeating the feat again through five games in 2021 (115.8).

Adams, who’s made four straight Pro Bowls, is definitely helped by an incredible quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, who’s No. 3 on the NFL Network list — and had very publicly stated a desire to leave Green Bay after the season. Rodgers’ reworked deal with the Packers signed at the end of July makes him a free agent after the 2021 campaign, and would make things very prohibitive for the organization to keep him in ’22 and beyond unless they offer him a gigantic contract extension despite his misgivings with the franchise (or his 38th birthday upcoming in December).

And if Adams’ close friend Rodgers isn’t coming back, that definitely decreases the likelihood that he remains in the green and gold long term.

“Obviously the quarterback situation helps it, but the stars got to align across the board as far as contractually,” Adams told Bleacher Report in July. “We’re going to play the season, and we’ll see how all of that pans out.”

If Adams does leave Green Bay, which seems willing to back up the Brinks truck for him, would he reunite in, say, Las Vegas with former Fresno State teammate Derek Carr? Would he follow Rodgers as part of an unprecedented, super-elite package deal?

Adams could certainly help swing the league’s balance of power depending on where he lands next offseason, and he’s poised to have a ton of bargaining power to do so.

Ranked by NFL.com as the second-biggest 2022 free agent behind only Pittsburgh superstar linebacker TJ Watt, Adams continues to make an incredibly strong case as the league’s top receiver. Now, he wants to be paid like it. And it’s only a matter of time.