Packers Negotiations w/ Davante Adams in a “Pretty Tough Spot”

ASHWAUBENON, WISCONSIN - JUNE 09: Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers works out during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on June 09, 2021 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
ASHWAUBENON, WISCONSIN - JUNE 09: Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers works out during training camp at Ray Nitschke Field on June 09, 2021 in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

A week ago, we heard from Ian Rapoport that contract extension talks between the Green Bay Packers and Davante Adams were in a “bad place.” We then heard from Adam Schefter that after reworking Aaron Rodgers’ deal, that Green Bay was going to make another run at extending Adams—and that very well could be true.

Now we’ve heard from Adams himself, and his take on the situation aligns with that of what Rapoport reported, saying that negotiations with the Green Bay Packers are in a “pretty tough spot.”

Widely considered the best receiver in football by many around the league and coming off an All-Pro season where he posted nearly 1,400 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, Adams expects to be paid accordingly, making him the highest-paid receiver in the game. And he doesn’t plan on taking any sort of discount.

"“That’s not going to happen,” Adams said about accepting a discount via Packers News. “It’s not about being a baby, but what other profession do you take less than what you have earned? It’s not how it goes.I’ve earned the right to be paid highest in the league. And if they don’t believe that or want to come to that agreement of trying to make me feel good about my contract …”"

Right now, the highest-paid receiver in football is DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals, who is making $27.25 million per year. As I discussed in a recent article, the issue is that by average annual value, Hopkins is making over $5 million more than Julio Jones—the NFL’s second-highest-paid receiver.

Essentially, because Hopkins’ deal was so much more than Jones’, it’s thrown the wide receiver market askew, which has caused the biggest problem in negotiations.

"“We’ve had a lot of time to figure this thing out,” Adams said, “and we weren’t really able to make a lot of progress, sadly. Not to get into the details of anything, because it’s a pretty confidential situation, but it’s tough, man. Because the way that this league goes, if you perform well, you’re supposed to get compensated properly for that, and if you underperform, you get cut with no questions asked — or however the team decides to do it. Maybe you don’t get cut, but you get reduced (salary), or whatever it is. There’s not a whole lot of back and forth that goes on with that.“So it’s tough when you feel like you’ve contributed a lot.”"

Adams wants more than the $27.25 million per year that Hopkins is receiving, but as GM Brian Gutekunst told reporters, while he does believe that Adams should be the highest-paid receiver in football, he doesn’t see that dollar amount as the benchmark.

The issue with that thinking on the Packers’ part is that Green Bay may have already set a precedent by making David Bakhtiari the highest-paid tackle in football. Similarly to the receiver position, Laremy Tunsil’s deal with Houston in 2020 was well above market value at that time, yet the Packers still paid Bakhtiari more than Tunsil—don’t think that Adams and his agent didn’t take notice.

It also doesn’t help that once again, in 2022, the Green Bay Packers are going to be tight up against the salary cap. According to Over the Cap, they are currently $43.13 million over the projected cap. A lot of difficult decisions are going to have to be made, and that could include not re-signing Adams.

If you’re looking for a positive spin, keep in mind that free agency is still a ways out, and the Green Bay Packers do typically prioritize their own high-end free agents. Just because negotiation talks have stalled, for the time being, doesn’t mean they won’t pick up again. We saw this last season with Aaron Jones.

However, at least for the time being, there appears to be a fairly wide chasm between the two parties.