In an incredible twist of fate, the Green Bay Packers traded All-Pro receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders for two premium picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. After franchise tagging Adams earlier this month, the WR expressed discontent with playing on the franchise tag and voiced his desire to get a long-term deal done.
The franchise tag to retain Adams cost the team over $20 million in salary for 2022. Apparently, the Packers realized there was no shot in retaining Adams long-term and decided to cut bait and send him to the Raiders.
Raiders acquire Davante Adams in a blockbuster trade
The Raiders get Davante Adams, and the Packers will get two premium draft picks — a 2022 first-round and second-round pick, per Ian Rapoport. Schefter reports that the Raiders are expected to give Adams a five-year contract in the deal.
Back at the NFL Combine, PFN Insider Tony Pauline reported a potential tag and trade scenario where the franchise tag is applied to Adams and then traded to the Raiders. Las Vegas would then sign Adams to the large deal he desires. Now, this has come to fruition.
Adams was No. 1 on Pro Football Network’s Top 100 list of 2022 free agents. Adams is 29 and coming off a huge season in 2021 with 123 catches for 1,553 yards, both of which are career-high marks. He also had 11 touchdowns.
Adams made his fifth Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro for the second time. And while the Packers’ red-zone efficiency wasn’t the same as when he led the NFL in touchdowns (with 18), he was still a threat in and around the end zone. His 11 touchdowns ranked fourth in the NFC.
In just eight seasons, Adams is already second on the Packers’ all-time receptions list (669) and touchdown catches (73). He’s fourth in receiving yards (8,121).
Contract details for Davante Adams
Adams just finished up a four-year, $58 million contract extension that turned out to be great value for the Packers. Adams was 19th in AAV among wide receivers in 2021, making less than inferior players like Amari Cooper, Jarvis Landry, Kenny Golladay, Julio Jones, and Robert Woods. Now, he’s in line to get a contract that will likely shatter previous wide receiver contract numbers.
That contract was one of two the Packers needed to figure out this offseason, the other being QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers’ deal was ironed out as he accepted a $150 million contract. His new deal pays $41 million in 2022, $59 million in 2023, and $49 million in the third and final year of the deal.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that while Rodgers was negotiating his contract, he knew Adams would not play for the Packers again. So, this trade does not come as a surprise to the Packers franchise quarterback.
ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported that the Packers were willing to pay Adams equally to what the Raiders are with this new deal, but Adams preferred to play elsewhere. The Las Vegas Raiders are now getting an All-Pro WR who will receive a contract that will likely shatter previous financial numbers for a wide receiver. What that looks like remains to be seen.
Davante Adams’ fit in Josh McDaniels’ offense
The thing about Adams is he’s a great fit for any offense at any time. That’s kind of what comes with the territory of being arguably the most talented wide receiver in the NFL. His release repertoire is unmatched, and he can win at all three levels of the field with relative ease. He’ll also be joining an offense featuring Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow, so things will be easier than they were for him in Green Bay.
Adams may be the premier route runner in the NFL. He has separation quickness for days and an innate ability to attack a defensive back’s leverage.
And fortunately, for the Raiders, the rapport between QB and receiver will be seamless. Derek Carr and Adams have met before. In fact, Adams’ NFL production shouldn’t be surprising. He produced at a similar rate at Fresno State catching passes from Carr.
In his final college season, Adams’ stat line was ridiculous. He caught 131 passes for 1,719 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games. He posted three 200-yard games in 2013 and scored 4 touchdowns in a single game twice. They were, effectively, unstoppable.
Raiders needed the firepower to keep up
The AFC West is battling in a ridiculous arms race. This is the kind of move Las Vegas needed to make just to keep up with the Chiefs, Chargers, and Broncos. They had already paired Chandler Jones with Maxx Crosby, traded for Rock Ya-Sin, and added Anthony Averett.
There might not ever be a division race more anticipated in the history of the NFL heading into next season. On paper, there’s a chance it’s one of the most talented divisions in football history.