Packers Rumors

Packers, Davante Adams End Talks

The Packers and wide receiver Davante Adams have ended their long-term extension talks (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). There are no current plans to resume them, putting the Packers star on course for free agency after the 2021 season. 

The two sides have been talking for months now, but they’ve made little in the way of progress. Rapoport hears that things are “now in a bad place,” so the Packers have now rankled both Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Adams has been pushing to be the league’s highest-paid wide receiver, or something close to it. However, the Packers’ latest offer would have left him shy of DeAndre Hopkins, who holds the top spot with $27.25MM per year on average. Titans receiver Julio Jones is (a distant) second to him with a $22MM AAV. Adams, meanwhile, signed his extension before the WR market ballooned in 2018. As it stands, he’s just the NFL’s 18th-highest-paid receiver with $14.5MM on average.

Adams won’t turn 29 until December and he ranks as one of the NFL’s premier wideouts. The Packers, to their credit, did well to lock Adams down before he had compiled a 1,000-yard season. Now, the Fresno State alum has two 1,000-yard campaigns and a 997-yard 2019, a season in which he played just 12 games. Last year, Adams led the NFL with 98.1 receiving yards per game.

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QB Tommy Stevens Trying Out For Packers As TE

Yet another player is attempting a position change to tight end. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that quarterback Tommy Stevens is auditioning for the Packers next week as a tight end. Defensive back Rashard Robinson and nose tackle Sterling Johnson will also be working out for the team.

Stevens was in and out of the lineup during his time at Penn State and Mississippi State, but he showed promise both with his arm and on the ground. Thanks to that potential, he was drafted by the Saints in the seventh round of the 2020 draft…but the team chose the prospect as a tight end. So, while we’ve seen the likes of Tim Tebow and Jordan Matthews attempt their own changes to tight end, Stevens already has a bit of experience at the position.

Stevens didn’t end up making New Orleans’ active roster, but he did stick around their practice squad for most of the campaign. He later caught on with the Panthers (as a quarterback), and he ended up making his NFL debut in Carolina’s Week 17 loss to the Saints. Stevens got four carries in that game for 24 rushing yards.

If the 24-year-old gets a deal, he’ll still have an uphill battle to make the Packers roster. The top of the team’s depth chart features Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, and Jace Sternberger, meaning Stevens would be competing with the likes of Josiah Deguara, Isaac Nauta, Dominique Dafney, and Bronson Kaufusi for a final roster spot.

Robinson, a former fourth-round pick, has seen time in 42 games across five seasons in the NFL. After spending his first two seasons split between the 49ers and Jets, the defensive back ended up sitting out the 2019 season thanks (in part) to a 10-game suspension. The 25-year-old caught on with the Cowboys in 2020, seeing time in four games (three starts) and finishing with 20 tackles.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Johnson went undrafted in 2020. He spent time with the Jets and Steelers over the past year-plus.

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Aaron Rodgers Declines Packers’ Offer

The Packers offered Aaron Rodgers a two-year extension that would have tied him to Green Bay for five more seasons (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). The deal would have made him the highest-paid player in the league, Schefter hears, but Rodgers declined. 

Of course, there are a million ways to measure contracts in the NFL — guarantees and cash flow are the things that really matter. That’s especially true when it comes to the Packers, who like to put the bulk of a player’s guarantees in the signing bonus.

For now, Rodgers is signed through 2023, but the Packers could theoretically cut him next offseason and save $22.7MM against the cap. They’d be left with $17.2MM in dead money, but that wouldn’t cripple them cap-wise, especially since the cap is set to increase next year. Jordan Love, with multiple years to go on his original rookie deal, would be significantly cheaper.

With training camp just one week away, it doesn’t sound like the Packers will have their MVP quarterback on the field. Rodgers, 37, continues to insist on a trade and a fresh start elsewhere. The Packers, meanwhile, have refused to budge.

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2021 Cap Space For All 32 NFL Teams

There are still plenty of quality free agents left on the board as we look ahead to training camp. Cornerback Steven Nelson, tackle Russell Okung, and longtime Legion of Boom leader Richard Sherman headline the list, along with accomplished edge rushers like Justin Houston, Melvin Ingram, and Olivier Vernon. That list will only grow larger, of course, as more teams shed veterans to redirect their funds elsewhere.

With that in mind, here’s a look at every NFL team’s cap situation, starting with the league-leading Jaguars:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars — $32.7MM
  2. Denver Broncos — $28.9MM
  3. New York Jets — $28.5MM
  4. Cleveland Browns — $20.6MM
  5. Los Angeles Chargers — $19.9MM
  6. Detroit Lions — $17.9MM
  7. San Francisco 49ers — $17.8MM
  8. Cincinnati Bengals — $17.4MM
  9. Washington Football Team — $16.7MM
  10. Indianapolis Colts— $14.3MM
  11. Carolina Panthers— $14.3MM
  12. Minnesota Vikings — $13.5MM
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers — $13.1MM
  14. New England Patriots — $13.1MM
  15. New Orleans Saints — $11.4MM
  16. Arizona Cardinals — $11.3MM
  17. Buffalo Bills — $10.5MM
  18. Baltimore Ravens — $8.8MM
  19. Atlanta Falcons — $8.6MM
  20. Seattle Seahawks — $8.3MM
  21. Tennessee Titans — $8.3MM
  22. Kansas City Chiefs — $7.9MM
  23. Los Angeles Rams — $7MM
  24. Chicago Bears — $6MM
  25. Dallas Cowboys — $6MM
  26. Miami Dolphins — $5.3MM
  27. Green Bay Packers — $5MM
  28. Houston Texans — $5MM
  29. Las Vegas Raiders — $3.3MM
  30. Philadelphia Eagles — $3.2MM
  31. New York Giants — $2.4MM
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — $489K

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Latest On Aaron Rodgers’ Timetable

Aaron Rodgers has said little throughout what has easily been the most turbulent offseason of his NFL career, but the reigning MVP provided an indication of his timetable Saturday.

During the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, the Packers quarterback said he plans to “get back to working out and figure things out in a couple weeks” (h/t USA Today’s Ben Kenney). This cryptic comment is certainly not out of the ordinary from Rodgers, who has played it close to the vest throughout this process — which turned into a holdout when he skipped Green Bay’s mandatory minicamp last month. The Packers, however, are set to open training camp in just more than two weeks (July 27).

Rodgers’ comment follows a report that indicated this stalemate was not on track to be resolved until at least training camp. While Rodgers’ loose timeline lines up with Packers camp, his holdout is not believed to be about money. He will face fines of $50,000 for each camp day missed. The 37-year-old superstar has long been entrenched in his desire to leave the Packers, which has stemmed from an issue with team management.

Packers GM Brian Gutekunst has been resolute against trading Rodgers, and ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler noted recently the trade market for the 16-year veteran is nonexistent (Twitter link). This does not mean no interest has spawned, as the Broncos have been linked to the future Hall of Famer since his desire to leave Green Bay emerged in late April, but that the Packers have not given any indication a trade is realistic.

In addition to skipping the Packers’ offseason program, Rodgers has not linked up with Green Bay pass catchers on his own. That gave presumptive successor Jordan Love plenty of extra reps during OTAs and minicamp. The 2020 first-round pick, whose arrival began this turmoil between Rodgers and the Packers, took roughly 90% of the team’s offseason team reps.

It will be interesting if Rodgers reports to Packers camp, given the acrimony between he and Gutekunst and team president Mark Murphy. Gutekunst, Murphy and Matt LaFleur attempted to resolve this situation for months, prior to Rodgers’ exit hopes becoming public, but no solution came. The Packers have the leverage of holding Rodgers’ rights, while the three-time MVP can withhold his services and essentially drop the team off the Super Bowl contender radar. Either way, this saga will gain clarity later this month.

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Release Candidate: Packers WR Devin Funchess

Could Devin Funchess‘ stint with the Packers end without him appearing in a game? There’s certainly a chance. As ESPN’s Rob Demovsky recently wrote, the veteran receiver is on the roster bubble heading into training camp.

There’s a variety of reasons why the Packers could look to move on from Funchess. For starters, the wideout has only appeared in a single game since the 2019 season; a broken collarbone limited him to only one content in 2019 (with the Colts), and he opted out of his first season with the Packers in 2020 due to COVID concerns. Funchess is still only 27-years-old, but it’s never easy for any player to return following a two-year absence.

Further, the Packers depth chart is packed. Behind Davante Adams, the Packers are eyeing a grouping that includes holdovers like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Malik Taylor. There’s also third-round rookie Amari Rodgers, and if you add Funchess to that bunch, that’s seven guys competing for at most six spots…and that doesn’t include the journeymen and undrafted free agents who are rounding out the offseason roster.

The financials aren’t necessarily in the receiver’s favor, either. The team would get around $1.2MM in savings by cutting the 27-year-old…while that doesn’t sound like a significant chunk of money, it still provides more financial breathing room than some of the other receiver options. While Funchess could theoretically give the team some money back, he’s already participated in one restructuring this offseason.

To top it all off, Funchess skipped OTAs earlier this offseason, and he only showed up to two of the three minicamp sessions. As a result, coach Matt LaFleur recently indicated that the six-foot-four receiver has some catching up to do.

“Well, he sure looks the part, there’s no doubt about that,” LaFleur said (via Wes Hodkiewicz of the team website). “You’re talking about a big, strong, long, physical guy that can run, sink his hips. So, I know he’s got a lot to learn, but we’re excited about having him on this team and letting him go compete and we’ll see what he can do.”

Funchess is only four years removed from a campaign where he finished with 840 yards from scrimmage and eight scores, and he hasn’t necessarily had the best luck over the past few years. As a result, there’s a good chance that the receiver will end up cracking a Week 1 roster. However, there’s also a chance that might not be in Green Bay.

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This Date In Transactions History: Raiders Trade Eric Dickerson To Falcons

While Eric Dickerson is best remembered in Rams and Colts uniforms, the Hall of Fame running back finished his career with two other franchises. Those teams made a deal on this date 28 years ago.

The then-Los Angeles Raiders, who had acquired Dickerson in 1992, traded the veteran back to the Falcons on July 7, 1993. The Falcons sent the Raiders a conditional sixth-round pick for Dickerson. The 10-year vet had visited Atlanta earlier that summer, and the teams soon agreed to a trade that would send him to his fourth and final NFL team. This move came after some key running back developments for both teams.

Dickerson was traded three times in his career, not counting the Rams trading up one spot to acquire him at No. 2 overall in the 1983 draft. The SMU product spent four-plus seasons with the Rams, who traded him to the Colts for a monster haul midway through the 1987 season due to a contract dispute. Dickerson delivered the fifth, sixth and seventh 1,000-yard rushing seasons while in Indianapolis, where he won the fourth and final rushing titles of his career (in 1988), but the Colts sent him to the Raiders for fourth- and eighth-round picks in April 1992.

After missing 11 games between the 1990 and ’91 seasons, Dickerson played all 16 in his lone Raiders season. He ended up leading the 1992 Raiders in rushing, with 729 yards, and reduced Marcus Allen to a minimal role (67 carries in 16 games). Embroiled in a feud with Al Davis, Allen signed with the Chiefs in June 1993. After rostering two first-ballot Hall of Fame running backs in 1992, two summer 1993 transactions led to the Raiders pivoting to younger players at the position.

The Falcons ranked 27th in rushing in 1992, despite having drafted Tony Smith in the first round, and totaled just three rushing touchdowns as a team. Smith was the player the Falcons selected with the pick they obtained from the Packers in that year’s Brett Favre deal. Smith did not receive an NFL carry after that rookie season. Dickerson, however, did not provide much of a stopgap. He played in just four Falcons games (two starts) and amassed 91 rushing yards. Erric Pegram, a 1991 sixth-round pick, ended up surpassing 1,000 rushing yards for Atlanta that year.

Dickerson’s final NFL snaps came with Atlanta, but he nearly joined Favre in Green Bay. Atlanta attempted to trade the aging back to Green Bay in October 1993, but a post-trade physical revealed a bulging disk in Dickerson’s neck and led the Packers to nix the deal. Dickerson retired shortly after the trade fell through.

He ended his career as the NFL’s No. 2 all-time leading rusher, with 13,259 yards. While Dickerson has fallen to ninth on that list, his 2,105 rushing yards (in 1984) remain the league’s single-season standard. It will be interesting to see if the NFL’s move to a 17-game season will lead to that record falling in the near future.

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Latest On Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Another day, another update in the Aaron Rodgers/Packers saga. This afternoon, the future Hall of Famer participated in ‘The Match’ golf tournament alongside Tom Brady, Phil Mickelson, and Bryson DeChambeau. Rodgers was naturally asked about his standoff with the Packers, and the quarterback decided to play coy.

“I don’t know,” Rodgers said when asked about his future in Green Bay (via Bleacher Report on Twitter). “We’ll see. We’ll see, won’t we?”

The 37-year-old also failed to acknowledge the Packers’ Week 1 matchup against the Saints, instead saying that he was prying information from Brady about the defending champ’s future in the NFL.

Besides the non-quotes from the tournament, we also learned that Rodgers had yet to gather with his wideouts (per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com). While the veteran avoided offseason workouts and minicamp, he still could have participated in unofficial sessions with the likes of Davante Adams, Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Devin Funchess, and others. This news isn’t a huge surprise since Rodgers has continually committed to his stance that he wants to play elsewhere, but you’d imagine Rodgers would want to get some work in before the regular season starts.

Finally, while it always seemed farfetched, we learned today that Rodgers won’t be opting out of the 2021 campaign. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that no players are believed to have opted out of next season. This path never made a whole lot of sense for the quarterback; he would have sacrificed a hefty payday in 2021 and would have just been delaying the stare down for at least another year.

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Raiders QB Derek Carr Would “Welcome” Reunion With Davante Adams

Derek Carr has had a rotating cast of receivers since he joined the Raiders as a second-round pick in 2014. So, when he was recently asked about the opportunity to team up with impending free agent wideout (and former college teammate) Davante Adams in 2022, Carr was naturally on board.

[RELATED: QB Derek Carr Discusses Future With Raiders]

“I’ve learned in this business, you never shut the door on anything,” Carr said to Bri Mellon of ABC30 (via NFL.com’s Nick Shook). “I know that he’s obviously the best receiver — everyone said one of the best, he’s the best receiver in the NFL. The guy is unbelievable. He’s been one of my best friends since we were in college together. I love the guy.

“I would always welcome to play with him again. I think it would unlock some things in both of us that people haven’t seen yet. I’m always open to that and I will be recruiting very hard. When that time comes, it will be a full-court press.”

Carr was a two-time Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year during his collegiate career, and a big reason for those accolades was the presence of Adams. Carr threw for 9,187 yards between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with Adams collecting 3,031 yards through the air (plus 38 touchdowns).

While the Raiders have done some work to improve Carr’s receiving corps (including acquiring Antonio Brown and drafting Henry Ruggs in the first round of the 2020 draft), the Raiders have still had a tight end lead the squad in receiving in each of the past three years (Jared Cook and Darren Waller (twice)). Even assuming that Ruggs is able to develop into a top-end starter, the team would surely still be in the market for some receiving help.

Considering the Packers uncertain future at quarterback, it’s only natural that front offices are dreaming of adding Adams to their offense. Of course, Green Bay could end that sentiment by extending the wideout, or they could alternatively franchise the receiver following the 2021 campaign. Still, if Aaron Rodgers is gone, Adams could push for a trade, in which case Carr and the Raiders would presumably be at the front of the line.

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Aaron Rodgers Unlikely To Opt Out Of 2021 Season

When the NFL and NFLPA agreed that players can opt out of the 2021 season, regardless of whether they have been deemed as a high risk for COVID-19 complications, it created a way for Aaron Rodgers to avoid having to play for the Packers again while still keeping his $11.5MM in signing bonus allocation for 2021 and the $6.8MM roster bonus that was earned in March (but that hasn’t been paid out yet). But Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, said Rodgers is unlikely to go that route.

That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. If Rodgers were to opt out, he would have to make that decision by July 2 — just five days from now — and he would not be able to reverse course. He would be committed to sitting out the 2021 season, and the source says the three-time MVP is not ready to make that decision so soon.

That doesn’t mean that Rodgers will actually play this year. The possibility of a pseudo-retirement has been on the table since this saga began, and it remains an option. Rodgers might not be ready to take himself off the field by July 2, but if he does not get what he wants — either a trade or a new contract that commits the Packers to him until he is actually ready to call it a career — by the time training camp rolls around, he could simply announce his retirement.

He might say that 16 years in the NFL have taken a toll on his mind and body, and that he is ready to hang up the cleats. Such a move could eliminate any fines or forfeitures that the Packers would otherwise be entitled to, and Rodgers could simply unretire in 2022 and say that the year off left him feeling fresh and ready to resume his playing career.

So the COVID opt-out is apparently not a real option for Rodgers. Meaning that we will have to wait until the end of July, at the earliest, before we start to get some clarity.

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