Davante Adams

Packers GM Discusses Aaron Rodgers’ Future With Team

Aaron Rodgers‘ record-breaking four-year, $200MM extension was intended to provide the QB with flexibility on a year-by-year basis. While Rodgers could theoretically walk away from the deal and join another organization, general manager Brian Gutekunst is naturally hoping the franchise QB will spend the rest of his career in Green Bay.

[RELATED: Aaron Rodgers’ Last Season In Green Bay?]

“We’d certainly like to,” Gutekunst said when asked if he believes Rodgers will retire with the Packers (via Ryan Wood of PackersNews.com). “I think that’s certainly one of the goals of his. I don’t want to speak for him, but I think that was kind of part of the scenario we thought when we moved through this process.”

At one point last year, it sounded like Rodgers’ tenure with the Packers was about to come to an end. However, as Gutekunst detailed, the organization worked with the quarterback to resolve any differences while also making sure to provide the player with his space.

“We had a lot of conversations right after the season,” Gutekunst said, “and he kind of took some time to go through things and make sure that he wanted to commit to the significant time and effort he puts into preparing for the season. Once he got through that, that time, I think we found out probably shortly before the rest of the world found out.”

Gutekunst also explained how he made an effort to better involve Rodgers in transactions, and that especially included the blockbuster trade of Davante Adams. Ultimately, Adams was dealt to the Raiders for a first- and second-round pick, and the GM was sure there was no way to change his wideout’s mind regarding his desire to play elsewhere.

“Not at the end of the day,” Gutekunst said (via Wood). “Those are really tough decisions. To lose a player of his caliber, and what he’s done for the organization, those are hard decisions and hard things to move on from. At the same time, I think once we got through the discussions with Davante after the season, this is what was best for the organization and Davante going forward.”

Contract Details: Watson, Adams, Stafford, Jones, Maye, Reed, Joseph-Day, Bozeman

Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to across the league, starting with the Browns’ fully guaranteed deal for their new quarterback.

  • Deshaun Watson, QB (Browns): Five years, fully guaranteed $230MM. Everything else about Watson’s Cleveland arrival is complicated; his contract is not. Following the 2022 season, in which the Browns reduced his salary to $1MM due to the likely forthcoming suspension, Watson is set to make $46MM in base salary from 2023-26, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes.
  • Matthew Stafford, QB (Rams): Four years, $160MM. The Rams are keeping Stafford’s base salaries down in the near future; they reside at $1.5MM for both 2022 and ’23, per OverTheCap. The team gave its quarterback a $60MM signing bonus, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. There are no void years on this deal, which includes $49.5MM, $50.5MM and $49.5MM cap numbers from 2024-26.
  • Davante Adams, WR (Raiders): Five years, $140MM. Adams’ deal surpasses DeAndre Hopkins‘ $27MM-per-year pact, but it is essentially a three-year, $67.5MM accord, Florio notes. Only $22.75MM is guaranteed at signing, but by early 2023, $42.9MM in injury guarantees shift to full guarantees. The Raiders have Adams tied to a $3.5MM 2022 base salary, helping for cap purposes, with a $20MM roster bonus representing part of that $42.9MM guarantee in 2023. Adams’ 2023 salary is set to be $6MM. His 2025 and ’26 salaries — $35.6MM apiece — are nonguaranteed.
  • Chandler Jones, OLB (Raiders): Three years, $51MM. The Raiders guaranteed Jones $32MM, with SI.com’s Howard Balzer noting the deal includes an $8.5MM roster bonus (Twitter link). The Raiders, who have Jones tied to base salaries of $4MM in 2022 and $7.5MM in 2023, tacked on two void years for cap purposes.
  • D.J. Reed, CB (Jets): Three years, $33MM. Reed collected $10.5MM guaranteed at signing and will count just $4.6MM against the Jets’ cap this year, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Reed is set to count $14.2MM against the Jets’ 2023 and ’24 caps.
  • Marcus Maye, S (Saints): Three years, $22.5MM. Originally reported as three years and $28.5MM, Maye’s deal does include $14.5MM guaranteed, per Spotrac (on Twitter). Maye’s 2022 cap hit is just $2.6MM, and the Saints included two void years. Maye’s cap hits for 2023 and ’24 are $8.6MM and $8.7MM, respectively.
  • Sebastian Joseph-Day, DT (Chargers). Three years, $24MM. Joseph-Day will receive $16.5MM guaranteed, which is up from initial reporting here. His 2022 and ’23 base salaries — $2.5MM and $6.5MM — are guaranteed, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.
  • Bradley Bozeman, OL (Panthers): One year, $2.8MM. Bozeman will receive a $1MM signing bonus and a $1MM base salary, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.

Packers Trade WR Davante Adams To Raiders

Davante Adams‘ stint with the Packers has come to a sudden end. The Packers are trading the Pro Bowl wideout to the Raiders, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The Packers will receive the Raiders’ first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The Raiders are also inking Adams to a record-breaking contract. The wideout will sign a five-year, $141.25MM deal with Las Vegas, with his $28.25MM average annual salary setting a new record for the position (per Rapoport).

There were whispers that Adams could be on the move, but the return of Aaron Rodgers had many assuming that the star wide receiver would be back in Green Bay next season. Of course, there was still the matter of a contract; the Packers ended up franchising Adams when they couldn’t agree on an extension prior to the tender deadline, but the wideout later made it clear that he wouldn’t play the 2022 season on the franchise tag (one-year, $20.5MM). Adams has been pushing for a megadeal to top DeAndre Hopkins‘ $27MM/year contract, and per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky (on Twitter), the Packers were willing to meet his asking price. However, Adams ultimately wanted to play elsewhere, leading to the trade.

Whenever a potential Adams trade was brought up, the Raiders were consistently mentioned as a top suitor. This wasn’t only due to the Raiders’ need for a top-end wide receiver; it was also because of the friendship between Adams and quarterback Derek Carr, who were teammates at Fresno State. Carr said last summer that he would “welcome” a reunion with his good friend, and he acknowledged that he’d be “recruiting hard” by the time the 2022 offseason came around. Ultimately, Carr got his wish, and he’ll now be adding one of the NFL’s most dynamic receivers.

A few eyebrows were raised when it was recently reported that Adams had bought a home in the Las Vegas area, and Rapoport tweets that the receiver will actually be neighbors with his new QB. Rapoport adds that the Raiders and Packers had been working on a deal for a few days, although NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the trade was dead as recently as yesterday.

Adams had a standout career with the Packers aftre being selected in the second round of the 2014 draft. The receiver earned a pair of first-team All-Pro nods and made five-straight Pro Bowls during his time in Green Bay. After putting up some incredible numbers in recent seasons, Adams somehow took it to another level in 2021. The wideout finished the season with a career-high 1,553 receiving yards on 123 receptions. He also hauled in 11 touchdowns.

Josh McDaniels and co. were reportedly seeking a top-end receiver to pair with receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller. DeSean Jackson provided a bit of a spark after joining the organization, but there was no guarantee he would stick around (plus he profiles as a lower-end WR). The team also lost a key future piece in Henry Ruggs.

While Green Bay settled their issues with their franchise QB, they now have some major question marks elsewhere on offense. The team’s receivers depth chart is currently led by Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb, and the Bears signed away Equanimeous St. Brown earlier today. It will be interesting to see if the Packers are able to attract one of the few remaining FA wideouts, and Schefter confirms (on Twitter) that the team is indeed pursuing veteran receivers. And for those wondering, Rapoport tweets that Rodgers has indeed signed his new contract. In fact, Rodgers was aware that Adams was done with the Packers when he inked his new deal, so this trade won’t come as any surprise to the QB (per Rapoport).

Packers’ Davante Adams Won’t Play On Tag

The Packers have Aaron Rodgers back, but things are still up in the air with their other star player. Packers wide receiver Davante Adams has informed team brass that he will not play on his franchise tag (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

While Rodgers scored a new four-year, $200MM deal to become the highest paid player in league history, Adams was cuffed to a one-year, $20.5MM franchise tag. That’s a 20% bump from last year’s tag of $16.8MM, but still far short of the guaranteed dollars he could have on a large, multi-year extension. The Packers have until July 15 to hammer out such an arrangement with Adams. If they don’t, they’ll have him under contract, but Adams could also go the Le’Veon Bell route — hold out and see what shakes in the fall.

Last time they talked, Adams pushed for a megadeal to top DeAndre Hopkins‘ $27MM/year contract. It’s a steep asking price, but the two-time All-Pro wide receiver has done his best to justify it. Last year, Adams ranked second in the league in catches (123), third in receiving yards (1,553), and fifth in receiving touchdowns (11).

The Packers may have to carve out some additional cap room to accommodate a new deal for Adams, though they could also work some magic to push much of the obligation to 2023 and beyond. Potential cap casualties include edge rusher Za’Darius Smith ($15.3MM in savings), outside linebacker Preston Smith ($12.5MM in savings), and Randall Cobb ($6.9MM in savings).

Packers Expected To Tag Davante Adams

One down, one to go. Now that Aaron Rodgers has a new deal, the Packers are expected to apply the franchise tag to Davante Adams (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

2:30PM: Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the Packers have now officially applied the tag (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Packers, Rodgers Agree To New Deal]

Rodgers has himself a new four-year, $200MM contract, making him the highest paid player in NFL history. Despite the sum – which includes $153MM guaranteed — his cap number will decrease for the coming year. That gives the previously cash-strapped Packers some much needed flexibility, and they’ll parlay much of that money into Adams’ tag.

Adams will be happy to reunite with Rodgers, but he won’t be thrilled about the tag. After today, the Packers will have until the middle of the summer to reach a multi-year compromise with their star wide receiver.

The Packers haven’t used their tag since 2010, but this is a fairly easy decision. There was no way they’d let their All-Pro wide receiver reach the open market this spring, so they’ll buy themselves some time instead. For what it’s worth, Adams and the Packers haven’t discussed an extension since the Packers’ 2021 season ended.

Last time they talked, Adams pushed for a megadeal to top DeAndre Hopkins‘ $27MM/year contract. No matter how this plays out for Adams, it’s safe to say that he’ll get a massive bump over his last four-year, $58MM re-up, signed in December of 2017.

Denver Emerging As Premier QB Destination

We wrote a bit earlier today on the Broncos being among multiple AFC teams who “have trade compensation lined up with the Packers,” in relation to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Well, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver has emerged as a prime location for many of the league’s veteran quarterbacks looking for a potential change of scenery.

The Broncos recently hired former Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Vic Fangio, who failed to accomplish a winning season in three years with the Broncos. The former Green Bay staffer represents an obvious and strong connection for Rodgers. Should Rodgers decide to move on from the Packers, having a play-caller that he’s familiar with could add some allure to the Mile High City. Another intriguing aspect that could bring a star quarterback to Denver is the addition of former Vikings’ offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak as passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Kubiak just helped Kirk Cousins turn in one of his best seasons in Minnesota.

Hackett and company inherit an impressive roster posed to perform. The defense is comprised of veterans like outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, safety Justin Simmons, defensive end Shelby Harris, and cornerback Ronald Darby. There are a number of free agents that Denver would like to bring back like cornerbacks Bryce Callahan & Kyle Fuller, defensive back Kareem Jackson, inside linebacker Josey Jewell, and outside linebacker Malik Reed. Even if they fail to bring some of those names back, the Broncos saw impressive seasons last year for youngsters like cornerback Patrick Surtain II, linebacker Baron Browning, defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, and safety Caden Sterns. The list of defensive players above may not overwhelm you with stardom, but, together, the Broncos defense ranked third in the league in points allowed and eighth in the league in yards allowed.

In addition to a brand new offense and stacked defense, Denver boasts a nice array of young offensive weapons. An impressive receiving corps is led by veteran 26-year-old Courtland Sutton, young star Jerry Jeudy, and Tim Patrick, who has broken out a bit over the past two seasons. The Broncos also have two talented, young receiving tight ends in Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Any quarterback looking to join in on the fun would potentially have the benefit of a two-headed rushing attack that was 79 yards short of a combined 2,000-yard rushing season. Running back Javonte Williams enjoyed a healthy dose of carries in his rookie season, and there is mutual interest in bringing back Melvin Gordon.

Rodgers is obviously a name to keep an eye on as the decision on his future in Green Bay looms on the horizon. He has said that he will let the Packers know of his intentions before the franchise tag deadline so they can figure out how to deal with free agent wide receiver Davante Adams. In addition to Rodgers, though, keep an eye out for Denver to make moves on other quarterbacks searching for greener pastures. Russell Wilson has long been rumored to be interested in moving on from Seattle, and Deshaun Watson is still searching for a new home.

Whether Rodgers, Wilson, Watson, or some other under-the-radar name, look for the Broncos to make a move for a star quarterback. If they are able to find the right fit, the move could bring them into contention for what could easily turn into the toughest division in football.

Raiders, Jaguars To Pursue Davante Adams If WR Hits Free Agency

The Packers are preparing to use the franchise tag on Davante Adams, but that won’t stop other teams from expressing interest in the star receiver. According to Tony Pauline of ProFootballNetwork.com, if Adams doesn’t get tagged and hits the open market, the Raiders and Jaguars will be among the teams that will pursue the free agent. Pauline also mentions the Broncos as a suitor, backing a previous report, and he lists the Chargers as a “team to watch.”

[RELATED: Packers Preparing To Put Franchise Tag On Davante Adams]

Derek Carr played with Adams at Fresno State, and the two have publicly talked about a potential reunion for some time. The Raiders are armed with about $40MM in cap space, and Josh McDaniels and co. would surely like a top-end receiver to pair with receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller. DeSean Jackson provided a bit of a spark after joining the organization, but there’s no guarantee he sticks around. The team also lost a key future piece in Henry Ruggs, so it wouldn’t be shocking if the Raiders add to their receiving corps.

The Jaguars have an awe-inspiring $70MM to play with, and the organization has been interested in pairing Trevor Lawrence with an elite receiver. Adams is used to winning, so it remains to be seen (in the hypothetical where he hits the open market) if he’d pursue a lucrative contract with a lesser team. Of course, Adams could also be a key piece in helping Jacksonville return to the postseason.

The Chargers are an interesting suitor considering their current receiver situation. Keenan Allen is set to earn $19MM in 2022, while breakout star Mike Williams is hitting free agency. While Allen’s spot in Los Angeles seems secure, the team could end up punting on the up-and-coming Williams and pivot to an elite option like Adams.

Green Bay has not used its tag since 2010 (Ryan Pickett) but is prepared to cuff its All-Pro wide receiver. Hopes for an Adams extension continue to be on hold. The sides have not discussed an extension since the Packers’ season ended last month.

Packers GM On Rodgers, Adams, Cap

Can the Packers still have a competitive team in 2022 if they retain quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams at market-leading salaries? Green Bay GM Brian Gutekunst says yes, adding that he’s “very confident about that,” (Twitter link via Matt Schneidman of The Athletic). 

[RELATED: Packers Rework Clark’s Contract]

Even after restructuring Kenny Clark‘s contract, the Packers are facing an enormous numbers crunch. Aaron Rodgers’ forthcoming decision should provide some clarity for the offseason ahead, though it’s hard to imagine a future with both players at their expected rates. The Packers are reportedly prepared to use the franchise tag on Adams, though Gutekunst says that’s “not something we’d like to do.” Instead, he hopes to hammer out a long-term contract that works for both sides. By the same token, he didn’t rule out the possibility of Adams reaching the open market in March (Twitter link via Lily Zhao of FOX 6.

Meanwhile, Gutekunst declined to talk about a hypothetical Rodgers trade, should the QB request one. For what it’s worth, he did confirm that Rodgers was involved in the team’s decision to hire Tom Clements as its quarterbacks coach (Twitter link via Schneidman)— a sign that his relationship with Rodgers is in a better place than it was just one year ago.

Pack, Davante Adams Not Discussing Deal

The window for teams to use their respective franchise tags opened Tuesday, but clubs rarely pull the trigger on tags early. Two weeks remain until the tag period closes, giving teams a bit more time. But the Packers are now on the clock with Davante Adams.

Green Bay has not used its tag since 2010 (Ryan Pickett) but is prepared to cuff its All-Pro wide receiver. Hopes for an Adams extension continue to be on hold. The sides have not discussed an extension since the Packers’ season ended last month, Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweets.

Adams played out his four-year extension and is poised to command a top-market receiver deal. A franchise tag would interfere with those hopes, though it would pay Adams a guaranteed salary in the $20MM range. An Adams tag also further restricts the Packers, who are more than $53MM over the expected 2022 cap. While restructures will commence, the Packers would undoubtedly be hindered by an Adams tag. The team also has De’Vondre Campbell, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kevin King and Rasul Douglas on track for free agency.

The team would save nearly $20MM by trading Aaron Rodgers, but the reigning MVP has not yet made up his mind about returning to the team. That clock is also ticking, for Packers team-building purposes. Rodgers’ status will affect Adams’, with the two-time All-Pro receiver admitting as such at multiple points last year after stalled negotiations.

Should Rodgers declare he wants out, how the Packers go forward with Adams will be a key fallout storyline. A tag-and-trade scenario would open the door to more high-end assets coming Green Bay’s way, in the event the team wants to reap full value in parting ways with its famed aerial connection. Of course, trading Adams after unloading Rodgers would mean the Packers would be essentially rebuilding at wide receiver ahead of Jordan Love‘s debut season.

The Packers and Adams broke off extension talks prior to last season; Adams sought a deal that topped DeAndre Hopkins‘ $27MM-per-year accord. He did not reach free agency when first eligible, opting to sign a four-year, $58MM extension in December 2017. As Adams progressed to the All-Pro tier, that contract became extraordinarily team-friendly. Set to turn 30 before the 2022 season ends, Adams is running short on time to maximize his value.

Packers Want QB Rodgers Back

In one of the more obvious nuggets of sports news, Packers’ president and CEO Mark Murphy expressed a team interest in quarterback Aaron Rodgers returning for another season in the monthly column Murphy uses to answer fan questions. 

“(Head coach) Matt (LaFleur), (general manager) Brian (Gutekunst), executive vice president/director of football operations Russ Ball and I are all in agreement that we want Aaron to come back,” Murphy wrote.

Despite some internal disputes and Rodgers’ misleading statements about his vaccination status, the 38-year-old is in line to potentially win his 4th MVP award, his second consecutively. He helped lead Green Bay to their second-straight first-round bye in the playoffs, though they did fall short of the Super Bowl for the second-straight year as a one-seed. So while the Packers can easily express their interest in his return, there are quite a few hurdles between that and re-signing him.

It started about 9 months ago when things gradually bubbled over during a long-term contract negotiation between the Packers and Rodgers. Rodgers had reportedly been unhappy during the proceedings and became so disgruntled that he told members of the organization that he didn’t want to return to the team. This frustration continued throughout an offseason that saw loads of trade speculation, including a report that Rodgers was under the impression that the Packers had promised to trade him before reneging on their deal. The offseason also contained a Rodgers hold-out that ended with a deal that some saw as a “Last Dance” contract that would help set up his departure after the season ended.

After a tumultuous offseason, came Rodgers’ issues with COVID-19. While the team, and reportedly the league, knew about Rodgers’ vaccination status, his positive COVID-19 test led to an investigation of the Packers’ mishandling of protocols.

Immediately after the season ended, Rodgers made it clear that he has no interest in staying in Green Bay if he doesn’t think the team can win in 2022. The veteran-QB told ESPN, “I don’t want to be part of a rebuild if I’m going to keep playing.” A big part of that will rely on the return of two-time All-Pro receiver Davante Adams. Adams is set for quite the payday following a contract year that saw him rank second in the NFL in catches (123), third in receiving yards (1,553), and fifth in receiving touchdowns (11).

Another point that could factor into Rodgers’ decision is the shuffled offensive staff. Former-offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is now the head coach of the Broncos and quarterbacks coach/passing-game coordinator Luke Getsy is the new offensive coordinator in Chicago. While Green Bay did promote a familiar face in offensive line coach/running-game coordinator Adam Stenavich, Rodgers is still without his QB coach and offensive coordinator of the last three seasons.

Lastly, and potentially most important in the list of things that undermine Murphy’s claim, is the Packers’ cap situation. Even if they can convince Rodgers to return to Wisconsin, the Packers are currently expected to be about $45MM over the cap, not including the hits from a tagged or re-signed Adams. In order to bring back both Adams and Rodgers, the team would likely have to part ways with a number of cap-heavy players.

Regardless, the Packers can cross the declaration off their list. It was the first thing they needed to do on a laundry list of tasks to bring Rodgers back. They can now move on in their pursuit and get to work on building a team that Aaron Rodgers thinks can win a Super Bowl, convincing him to return, and somehow paying for it all.