NFL

Rodgers committed to Packers expecting Adams to return, not concerned by first-round picks

By Sports Desk April 29, 2022

Aaron Rodgers has revealed he was caught out by Davante Adams' departure from the Green Bay Packers, but he was not surprised by the team's activity on the first night of the NFL Draft.

Rodgers' Packers future was the subject of speculation for two straight years before he committed to his only professional team this offseason.

However, two days after his new $150million deal was made official, Rodgers saw leading wide receiver Adams traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, where he landed his own big contract.

Rodgers threw 68 touchdown passes to Adams from 615 receptions on 922 targets – each his most to any team-mate in his Packers career.

Indeed, since Rodgers came into the NFL in 2005, there have been only four more prolific quarterback-receiver duos in terms of TDs – Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski (90), Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates (89), Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown (74), Drew Brees and Marques Colston (72) – despite Adams only himself entering the league in 2014.

And in an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show following the first round of the draft, Rodgers acknowledged he had anticipated continuing this link-up into 2022.

"It was a little surprising with Davante," he said. "Obviously, when I made my decision, I was still thinking he was going to come back.

"I was very honest with him about my plans and my future and where I saw my career going, as far as how many years I want to play.

"But I felt like he was going to be back. It didn't obviously turn out that way, but I have so much love for 'Te and appreciate the time we spent together and definitely wish him the best in Derek [Carr] in Vegas. But that's a big hole to fill."

It had been expected the Packers, armed with two first-round picks following the Adams trade, would draft at least one receiver to plug that hole on Thursday.

Instead, Green Bay took linebacker Quay Walker and defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt.

However, Rodgers, who was famously infuriated in previous seasons by the team's draft-day decisions, including selecting his understudy Jordan Love in round one in 2020, remained relaxed.

"I believe it was six receivers they had first-round grades on," he said, "and when they were gone, I think it was pretty obvious they wanted to shore up those two spots [on defense]."

The alternative option for the Packers would have been a big trade of their own for a ready-made star, with A.J. Brown and Marquise Brown moved on Thursday while Deebo Samuel remains on the San Francisco 49ers.

"I think we've been in the mix with some of these guys," Rodgers said. "That's what it seems like.

"Now, there's not a lot of teams that probably want to trade receivers to Green Bay. I think we're probably at the back of the line for a lot of these teams as far as our picks are usually late and nobody wants to trade in the [NFC]... a guy like Deebo, probably.

"But at the same time, I think if you're not going to pay Davante — obviously we traded him, he wanted to move on — but going out and paying another guy... I don't know if that makes a ton of sense.

"Now, there are some veteran guys out there that I think could be possibilities, and also we have two picks in the second round tomorrow, and I'm sure there are some guys on the board that they probably like.

"Yeah, I feel like we've been in the mix, but does San Fran want to trade Deebo Samuel to us? Probably not."

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