By the time Davante Adams requested a trade from the Green Bay Packers, it was too late.
Adams wanted out, and the Packers had no choice but to make a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. However, it never had to get to that point in the first place.
The Packers drafted Adams in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and he would spend eight years in Green Bay, becoming an All-Pro wide receiver. The team knew how good Adams was and his importance to the offense, but seemingly were unwilling to pay him what he deserved.
Speaking to Brandon Marshall on the I Am Athlete podcast, Adams revealed why he wanted to leave Green Bay.
The summer before Adams left, he wanted a new deal from the Packers as he only had one year remaining on his contract.
"I talked to them, and I told the Packers and everything, based off of what I had done, you want to see another year of this before I get paid?" Adams said. "I'm basically on a tag this year. It's less money than a tag, and there's no security just like a tag would be."
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported in July 2021 that the Packers and Adams had "broken off" negotiations over a long-term deal, noting that the two sides were in a "bad place."
Adams deserved to become the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. He was coming off an incredible 2020 season, catching 115 passes for 1,374 yards and a league-best 18 touchdowns. The Packers, it seemed, weren't willing to pay up.
After getting traded to the Raiders, Adams landed a new five-year deal worth $28.25 million per year. How much had the Packers offered him the summer prior?
"It was south of 20," Adams told Marshall.
Yikes. No wonder negotiations broke off. The Packers had one of the best wide receivers in franchise history and lowballed him with an insulting offer.
Packers to blame for losing Davante Adams
The worst part? By the time Adams wanted to leave, the Packers had changed their minds. ESPN's Rob Demovsky reported that the Packers were willing to match the Raiders' contract offer, but Adams didn't want to stay in Green Bay.
Too little, too late.
Marshall asked the All-Pro receiver whether he would've stayed with the Packers had they offered him the deal he wanted the previous offseason.
"I would've been in Green Bay, for sure," Adams said.
The Packers not offering Adams the contract he deserved ended up costing them. By March, they were willing to make him the highest-paid receiver in the league. Had they done the same eight months earlier, Adams would probably still be playing for the Packers now.
However, it wasn't just the contract offer that Adams had to consider, but also the future of his MVP quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.
"Obviously, the whole Aaron thing and his uncertainty of his future in Green Bay factored in heavy for me," said Adams.
Rodgers ended up signing a contract extension just days before Adams was traded to the Raiders. But, as we now know, Rodgers' new deal would only keep him in Green Bay for one more season.
The two will play against each other this season with the Raiders and Jets.
Adams made it clear he still loves the Packers and has remained in contact with Matt LaFleur, Brian Gutekunst, and Mark Murphy. Not only is he a dominant player, but Adams is also an incredible person and has shown nothing but respect for his former team.
If only the Packers had shown him the same respect in the summer of 2021.
You can watch the full clip here: