Davante Adams is rapidly approaching the most pivotal offseason of his stellar NFL career, and what Aaron Rodgers does or does not do will factor into how things play out for the All-Pro wide receiver. This past offseason was headlined by Rodgers allegedly stating he wouldn’t take another snap for the Packers — leading to a standoff of sorts that lasted months and resulted in the organization (one that never once hinted at letting him leave) reworking his contract to appease him. But, in doing so, the restructuring opens up the possibility that 2021 could be his swan song in Wisconsin, that is of course if he doesn’t leap into retirement.
When asked about his future as a whole, including potentially retiring in 2022, Rodgers was noncommittal. Needless to say, whichever path he chooses will send shockwaves in all directions, even if he chooses to remain in Green Bay, because that will be a huge determinant on if Adams sticks around as well.
“Naturally,” Adams said, via ProFootballTalk. Why wouldn’t it? I’m playing with the best quarterback to play the game. There’s a lot that goes into it, so it won’t be the end-all, be-all, but it’ll definitely be something I’m monitoring and paying attention to, to see where his head is at.”
He’s right, because there is a lot that goes into it, including the possibility the Packers pull the trigger on an exclusive franchise tag that would keep Adams from having the freedom to choose his landing spot. And as unpleasant as that typically is for a player, it’s built into the formula of NFL free agency and if any player is worth using it on, it’s Adams. He won’t be hurting financially either way, however, considering the franchise tag in 2022 is projected to land at a robust $18.42 million for wide receivers — based upon a sizable bump in the league’s salary cap to $208 million.
For Rodgers, it’s about living in the now and handling the later, later. This time, however, he vows it won’t drag out as it did in 2020.
“I’m just savoring this year as much as anything, and it won’t be something that I’ll drag out for months and months,” Rodgers said. “I’ll have conversations with my loved ones after the season, and with Brian [Gutekunst] and Mark [Murphy] and Russ [Ball] and the coaching staff and then make a decision at some point. I’m not going to hold the team back from anything.
“And once I commit, if it’s committing to move forward here, it will be a quick decision. … To still be able to play is important to me. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that I can still can play, I still have a love for the game, I’m still super competitive and still enjoy the process of the week.
“… I still do love competing and I love being out there.”
The on-field chemistry between Rodgers and Adams is arguably the best or any QB-WR tandem in all of football, and it’s possible we’re seeing the last of that relationship unfold before us heading into the playoffs. As was the case months ago, Rodgers is uncertain about his future with the Packers and now in the NFL as a whole, and if he departs Green Bay, Adams will inevitably start looking around the league at greener pastures regarding not just money, but who’ll be throwing him the ball.
Again, that’s assuming the Packers allow it, knowing Adams will be the most sought after free agent in the league.