Why the Packers should let Davante Adams walk after the season

Green Bay Packers, Davante Adams (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Davante Adams (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

I’d like to first start things out by acknowledging this isn’t going to be a popular take. Davante Adams is the best receiver in football and among the best to ever suit up for the Green Bay Packers.

Davante is beloved by many, myself included, which makes this such a difficult point to make. However, this is about more than talent, and more than production – it’s about money.

Davante Adams has made no secret about wanting to become the highest paid receiver in the NFL, and he should be – just not by Green Bay. As it stands, Adams is the 15th highest paid wide receiver and yet that has turned out to be a massive bargain for this front office.

Unfortunately, in an effort to go all in this season, the Packers find themselves in salary-cap hell moving forward – to the tune of nearly $50 million over the cap before the off-season even begins. This all but ensures that the front office is going to have to make some difficult decisions in regards to some of the team’s most decorated players, possibly even Davante Adams.

So before you chastise me, at least hear out my rationale for why the Packers would benefit from letting Adams walk after the season.

Reasons not to pay the best receiver in football

  • Davante Adams hasn’t played a full 16-game season in the last four years
  • The Packers are 6-0 in games Adams has sat out the last two years and averaged more than 30 points per game (I’m not insinuating the Packers are better without him, because they aren’t – simply stating a fact)
  • In the last decade, the team that has employed the highest paid receiver in the NFL has only posted a record over .500 one time (Julio Jones – 2016 Atlanta Falcons)
  • To take it a step further, the team that has employed the highest paid receiver hasn’t won the Super Bowl since 2008 (Marvin Harrison – Colts)

Even though Adams is undoubtedly in the prime of his career (28 years old), during the lifetime of this contract he’s searching for, it’s likely the team will be getting a lesser version of the player that they have today.

The Packers’ contracts given out over the years have been relative to the player they expected them to become, not for what they’ve already done. The bottom line is, it just doesn’t pay to shell out top dollar to wide receivers, especially when they’re going to have so many other positions with significant needs.

The Packers have proven under Coach LaFleur that a receiver room full of players that play specific roles can produce in his offense. The Packers have just one receiver signed beyond this year (I’m not counting Randall Cobb because he’ll be a cap casualty in the off-season).

In an obvious transition year for the Packers, it gives them a chance to re-tool and possibly move forward with some cheaper extensions like MVS or Allen Lazard and pursue a much more cost-effective option via the draft.

As much as it breaks my heart to say, it just might not make financial sense for the Packers to commit top dollar to Davante as they prepare for a transition year in 2022. Just be thankful for everything he’s given the Packers and prepare for the very real possibility of wishing him well in the off-season.