Just when you thought the NFL offseason couldn’t get any crazier.
In a week where Tom Brady unretired, Randy Gregory pulled a fast one on the Cowboys, Baker Mayfield got his feelings hurt and the Falcons (who we believed were happily married to Matt Ryan) risked it all for Deshaun Watson, Davante Adams reuniting with his former college teammate Derek Carr in Las Vegas may be the biggest stunner yet. It was assumed when Aaron Rodgers announced his return to the Packers on a four-year, $200-million extension, that he’d be joined by Adams, a five-time Pro Bowler coming off consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. But obviously the Packers didn’t see it that way, flipping Adams for picks including a first-rounder (22nd overall) in next month’s NFL Draft.
What bitter irony with Rodgers finally getting paid, only for the Packers to trade away his go-to receiver. Adams made clear he wanted a new deal, refusing to play on the franchise tag, but no one in their wildest imagination expected this outcome. It seems the Packers, after spending every last dollar on Rodgers, couldn’t afford to keep Adams too (it may have also cost them Za’Darius Smith, who Green Bay cut as a cap casualty earlier this week), culminating in Thursday night’s bait-and-switch.
Predictably, social media reaction was all over the map, ranging from shock to amusement, with many glad to see Rodgers, who damaged his public image—perhaps irreparably—last year with his dangerous anti-vax messaging and perceived arrogance toward media not named Pat McAfee, finally get his comeuppance.
After a year of behind-the-scenes drama, it seemed Rodgers’ arc was finally complete with the 38-year-old content to finish his career in Green Bay. But after Thursday’s betrayal, the Packers may have broken Rodgers’ trust one too many times.
Meanwhile, Adams joins a potent Raiders offense led by Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow, who enjoyed a breakout 2021 with 103 catches for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns. Bolstered by recent additions including Russell Wilson, Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson, Chandler Jones and now Adams, the AFC West has never been stronger with talent up and down the division.
With Adams heading to Vegas, Green Bay will almost certainly address their receiver need in April’s draft with Garrett Wilson, Drake London, Jameson Williams, Chris Olave, Treylon Burks and Demar Dotson all potentially in play as first-round picks.