Friday, December 1, 2023

Davante Adams trade grades: Raiders fuel AFC West arms race, Packers lose key weapon for Aaron Rodgers

The Las Vegas Raiders and Green Bay Packers executed one of the biggest trades of the offseason on Thursday night. As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirms, Las Vegas has acquired All-Pro receiver Davante Adams in a blockbuster deal that will send their first and second-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to Green Bay. Not only did the Raiders acquire Adams, but they also made him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL, inking him a five-year contract that pays him $141.25 million. 

Of course, this is a massive trade that does shake the foundation of both conferences as the Raiders continue the arms race in the AFC West, while Green Bay looks to try and replace arguably the best receiver in the NFL before the start of the 2022 season. Below, we’ll dive into our grades for this trade and see how both Las Vegas and the Packers were able to make out. 

Raiders: A

Yes, a first and second-rounder is a hefty price to pay for a player that you’ll also have to give market-setting money to, but this is a no-brainer move for the Raiders. Davante Adams can take this offense to another level and is a much-needed addition, especially as the other teams in the AFC West continue to improve across the board. 

Not only are they adding the best receiver in the NFL, but Adams has a built-in rapport with quarterback Derek Carr. Those two played together at Fresno State and have had a friendship since their college days. In their two collegiate seasons together, Adams led FBS in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, while Carr led FBS in passing yards and passing touchdowns. If they come close to that prolific play in Las Vegas, the Raiders will be in the thick of the AFC West race. 

The addition of Adams should also free up tight end Darren Waller and fellow receiver Hunter Renfrow, making this offense a very well-rounded unit that will be a nightmare to defend in the red zone. 

Packers: C+

Once Adams told the Packers that he would not be playing under the franchise tag, it became abundantly clear that he wasn’t going to have a long-term future with the team. In the aftermath of this trade, it was reported that Green Bay was willing to give him the same contract that he is receiving with the Raiders, but Adams preferred to move on. 

At that point, getting a first and a second-round pick for a player that no longer wanted to be with your franchise isn’t a bad return whatsoever. That said, the Packers shouldn’t have allowed things between them and Adams to sour as much as it did, especially when they were willing to pay him the contract he desired in the end. 

Now, Green Bay will need to use this assortment of picks to try and replicate Adams’ production, which will be no small task. Even the free-agent market has dried up of elite options with Allen Robinson already inking a deal with the Rams. Odell Beckham Jr. could be an option, but he is rehabbing a torn ACL that he suffered in the Super Bowl, so there are plenty of question marks regarding his status for the 2022 season. Whoever the Packers bring in at receiver, they’ll also need to build up a quick rapport with Aaron Rodgers. Even if they do, it likely won’t be at the same level as Rodgers and Adams, who combined for 29 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

With Rodgers entering the 2022 season at 38 years old, the Packers will need to retool that receiver unit quickly to make the $150 million investment they placed in the QB worth it.  

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