The Minnesota Vikings earned an important divisional win at home in Week 1, defeating the Green Bay Packers 23-7 after a massive game from star receiver Justin Jefferson on Sunday.

Jefferson was named second-team All-Pro last year in his second season in the league, and he showed against the Packers why many feel he could be the top wide receiver in the entire league.

He had three catches for 47 yards and a touchdown on the first drive alone, before going on to finish with gaudy figures of nine catches for 184 yards and two scores.

While Jefferson was the offensive star, the Vikings' defense was the reason they won the game, holding the Packers scoreless in the first half to head into the long break leading 17-0.

With Aaron Rodgers' former top target Davante Adams traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in the offseason, he struggled to move the ball downfield. While Adams racked up 10 catches and 141 yards from 17 targets in his Raiders debut, no Green Bay receiver finished with more than Romeo Doubs' four catches for 37 yards from five targets, although running back A.J. Dillon did reach 46 receiving yards after some garbage-time action.

Coming off back-to-back league MVP awards, Rodgers finished a disappointing 22-of-34 for 195 yards, throwing one interception and no touchdowns. He was also sacked four times by the impressive Vikings pass rush, including one by former Packers edge rusher Za'Darius Smith.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins enjoyed a clean start to the season, going 23-of-32 for 277 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions, while top running back Dalvin Cook was strong with 20 carries for 90 yards.

Barkley announces return to form in Giants win

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley had not scored a touchdown since Week 4 of last season, but he found form again in style as he carried his side to a 21-20 win on the road against the Tennessee Titans.

Barkley, the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, had been questioned about if he would ever return to his best, but he looked like the old Barkley against the Titans as he piled up 164 yards and a touchdown from 18 carries, while adding six catches for 30 yards through the air.

As well as dominating through the middle stages of the contest, he also delivered in a big spot to decide the game, converting a two-point conversion after Daniel Jones threw what ended up being the game-winning touchdown with one minute to play.

The Titans got the ball back and worked their way into field goal range, but with a chance to hit a walk-off game winner, Randy Bullock pulled the 47-yard kick left to gift the win to the Giants.

The first week of the 2022 NFL season is here, with all the possibilities a new campaign brings.

Things kicked off on Thursday with the Buffalo Bills beating the Los Angeles Rams 31-10 thanks to a starring role from quarterback Josh Allen, who threw three touchdowns against the defending champions.

There are even more enticing games to look forward to over the weekend, with last season's Super Bowl runners up the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, Patrick Mahomes and the much-fancied Kansas City Chiefs facing Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals, and it will be Aaron Rodgers v Kirk Cousins as the Green Bay Packers go to the Minnesota Vikings.

Stats Perform dives head first into Opta data to preview those games and more of the opening weekend of NFL action.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have won their last three games against the Steelers (27-17 in December 2020, 24-10 and 41-10 last season). It is the Bengals' longest winning streak versus the Steelers since they won six consecutive games from 1988 through 1990.

Mitch Trubisky will be the first quarterback other than Ben Roethlisberger to start a season opener for the Steelers since Dennis Dixon in 2010 (Roethlisberger was suspended). Trubisky is 1-2 in season openers, losing to the Packers twice and beating the Detroit Lions (all when he was with the Chicago Bears).

The Bengals played a league-high seven games decided by exactly three points during the 2021 regular season (won three, lost four), the highest single-season total by an NFL team since the 2012 Steelers (seven). Three of Cincinnati's four postseason games were also decided by exactly three points, including the 23-20 Super Bowl loss to the Rams.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow completed 67 of 85 passes for 971 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions over his final two games in the 2021 regular season (Week 16 against the Ravens, Week 17 against the Chiefs). Burrow's passing yardage is the second-highest two-game total by one player in NFL history, trailing only Dak Prescott's 974 passing yards over a two-game span in 2020.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals

The Chiefs have won their division in six consecutive seasons, which is three more than the next longest active streak (Green Bay). Only two teams in NFL history have had longer streaks (New England - 11, 2009-2019 and LA Rams - seven, 1973-1979).

Patrick Mahomes has won 50 of his 63 career starts as Kansas City's quarterback. The only QB in the Super Bowl era to reach 50 wins in fewer career starts than Mahomes was Kenny Stabler, who earned his 50th win in his 62nd start.

Arizona scored 30 or more points in nine different games in 2022, tied for the most in a single season in team history. Since a 56-14 win over the Vikings in Week 4 of 1963, the Cardinals have gone 903 games without scoring 50 points, which is the longest streak in NFL history (Broncos, 761 straight games from 1963-2013).

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray will not want to be upstaged by Mahomes, and is the only player in NFL history to have at least 70 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in the first three seasons of his NFL career.

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

In their 22 road games against the Vikings this century, Green Bay has scored 30 or more points in 10 of them. That is tied for most 30-point games by an NFL team at a single opponent in that time with the Patriots at the Bills.

No NFL head coach has won more games over his first three NFL seasons than Matt LaFleur (39; George Seifert had 38). A win Sunday would make LaFleur the third coach in NFL history with 40 wins through 50 career games as head coach, joining Paul Brown (41) and Chuck Knox (40).

Kirk Cousins has thrown for at least 3500 yards and 25 TDs in seven consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the NFL. He is the fifth QB in NFL history to have more than five straight, joining Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Tom Brady.

Since becoming Green Bay's starter in 2008, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 169 TDs against division opponents, compared to 25 interceptions. The Vikings have a total of 121 passing touchdowns and 73 interceptions against the NFC North in that span.

Elsewhere...

When Carolina host Cleveland, with Baker Mayfield starting for the Panthers and Myles Garrett starting for the Browns, they will become the second pair of number one overall draft picks for the same team to go on to play against one another. The others were Jeff George and Steve Emtman in 1995.

The Eagles head to the Lions, with no team targeting their receivers less frequently than Philadelphia last season (239 targets), which led to the acquisition of A.J. Brown. The fourth-year WR has scored a TD on 13.0 percent of his career catches, third-highest rate among active players (min. 150 receptions).

The New Orleans Saints will need to beware of Foye Oluokun, who led the NFL last season with 192 total tackles, becoming the first Atlanta Falcon to lead the league in that category since Jessie Tuggle in 1995 (152). Oluokun's 192 total tackles were the most in a season by an NFL player since Chris Spielman had 195 in 1994 for the Lions.

Tom Brady is back for Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a very brief retirement as they travel to the Dallas Cowboys. The 45-year-old's last two seasons mark the first time in NFL history a QB has had 40 or more TD passes and a passer rating of 100.0 or better in back-to-back seasons.

The Green Bay Packers have a good chance of getting a former All-Pro back on the field for their season-opening road game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.  

Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who has been rehabilitating from a serious knee injury since the end of the 2020 season, told ESPN Monday that he is ready to start in week one.  

"Yeah, I mean, I'm on the active (roster) just like anyone else," Bakhtiari said. 

The three-time Pro Bowl selection began the Packers’ offseason on the physically unable to perform list but has been a full participant in recent practices, including 11-on-11 workouts.  

Bakhtiari, 30, originally suffered a torn left ACL on Dec. 31, 2020, and has undergone three surgeries on the knee since.  

He returned briefly to the field in Week 18 last season, playing 27 snaps in Green Bay’s regular-season finale before experiencing complications and being shut down for the postseason.  

After 20 months of working to return to protecting Aaron Rodgers’ blindside, Bakhtiari believes he is ready to once again anchor the Packers’ offensive line.  

"I can get through the season," Bakhtiari said. "It's going to be fine. You have to just manage while playing. 

"I'm just getting back in the swing of things. So, I mean, I think there's normal rust and then new normal with three surgeries, so just kind of working that out and figuring out what my routine is." 

Green Bay’s second-most decorated offensive lineman, Elgton Jenkins, remains a question mark as he is working his way back from his own ACL surgery.  

Head coach Matt LaFleur was noncommittal on the possible return of Jenkins, a 2020 Pro Bowler.  

"We'll have to find out on Sunday," LaFleur said. 

Aaron Rodgers made headlines Tuesday for criticising the Green Bay Packers young wide receivers. A day later, the legendary quarterback met with the wideouts to work with them and get everyone on the same page.

Rodgers and fellow Packer quarterbacks Jordan Love and Danny Etling, along with members of the offensive coaching staff met in the quarterback meeting room Wednesday morning with the wide receivers.

"Aaron spoke to us about what he likes or what not just based on concepts or what he sees," rookie receiver Romeo Doubs said.

"He just wants us to see what he sees. So then that way we can be able to react faster, play faster and just be able to dominate and continue to be who we are."

Doubs had a bad drop Tuesday in the Packers’ joint practice with the New Orleans Saints, prompting Rodgers to call out the young receivers.

"The young guys, especially young receivers, we've got to be way more consistent," Rodgers said on Tuesday.

"A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We've got to get better in that area."

Rodgers did not call Wednesday’s meeting but reportedly did plenty of talking during it to try to build chemistry.

"It was just really giving us advice," rookie receiver Samori Toure said. "Basically, letting us know that the Green Bay receiving corps has always been held to a super-high standard.

"All the legends who have been through here. It's just about us carrying on that standard and stepping up."

For the first time since 2013, Rodgers and the Packers open a season without Davante Adams after the five-time Pro Bowl receiver was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in March.

In 2021, Adams was second in the NFL in receptions (123), third in receiving yards (1,553) and fifth in receiving touchdowns (11).

Allen Lazard (40 receptions, 513 receiving yards, 8 receiving touchdowns in 2021) and Randall Cobb (38 receptions, 375 yards, 5 TDs) now take over as Rodgers’ primary targets, and both also spoke during the meeting.

"Both Randall and Allen have been playing with 12 for quite a long time so certain things that we do, that we may have a mistake on, just from experience they've went through that same stage as well," Doubs said.

"Just them picking up the young guys throughout these dog days of camp has been a tremendous blessing and great piece of advice."

The message seemed to resonate with the young receivers as both Toure and Doubs caught touchdown passes in Wednesday's scrimmage with the Saints.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers sent Tom Brady birthday wishes, but left little room for doubt over his intention to retire before the age of 45.

Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion, turned 45 on Wednesday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB retired in February, but reversed that decision just 40 days later and is now set for his 23rd straight season in the NFL.

Rodgers, meanwhile, is ready to go again with the Packers after signing a bumper contract back in March. The 38-year-old was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player for 2021, winning the award for a second year running and a fourth time overall.

But when asked if he planned on matching Brady by playing until he is 45, 38-year-old Rodgers told reporters bluntly: "No. Happy birthday [to Brady]."

Brady topped the charts for touchdown passes last regular-season, recording 43 from 17 games, though Rodgers boasted a better pass completion percentage (68.9 – the third-best in the league) and the NFL's best TD percentage (7.0).

Aaron Rodgers has backed Allen Lazard to be the number one wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers in the forthcoming NFL season and fill the void left by Davante Adams' departure.

For the first time in his 18-year career, Rodgers heads into the season without a recognised starring man to target following Adams' move to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Lazard is the favourite to step up in the 2022 season, having hauled in 21 receptions for 290 yards and scored five touchdowns in the five matches at the end of the regular 2021 season.

Quarterback Rodgers thinks the 26-year-old can make a big impact.

"When you walk in the locker room for so many years and you see 87's locker, that's Jordy Nelson. You see Davante Adams. It gives you a different feel. You just kind of know that you got that guy," he said during a news conference.

"We have some opportunities for some guys to step into that role.

"I think Allen is ready to make a jump and be a number one wide receiver. [I'm] excited about the opportunity to work with him.

"He's capable of a lot.  Since his first day, he's turned heads. He's been working hard. He has a lot to prove to himself I like a hungry Allen Lazard."

The Packers' offense has undergone a major reshuffle ahead of the new season, losing Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency and bringing in Sammy Watkins, as well as drafting three wide receivers.

Rodgers is pleased with the options he has to throw to as the Packers look to make the playoffs for the fourth season in a row.

"Allen sets the standard. Randall [Cobb] sets the standard. The young guys have to pay attention," he added.

"There is a lot of talent in that room for sure, and a lot of motivation for some of the comments that's been sent that room's way. I like what we did on day one."

The Packers face the San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs in pre-season, before kicking off the new campaign at the Minnesota Vikings on September 11.

Green Bay Packers All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari barely played last season, and there’s no telling when he’ll be healthy enough to take the field this coming season after he had another procedure on his left knee.

The latest procedure would be at least the third known surgery since Bakhtiari suffered a torn left ACL on New Year’s Eve 2020.

Bakhtiari has played just one game since the original injury, and that came in the regular-season finale at Detroit on January 9 before he was shut down for the playoffs. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday as the Packers opened training camp.

Bakhtiari attended the Packers’ offseason program but did not practice, and instead worked off to the side with the rest of the players rehabbing injuries.

''It's a nightmare, my nightmare that I have to live,'' Bakhtiari said. ''I don't know how many days it's been, but I'm just excited to wake up (from the nightmare) one day.''

The Packers remain hopeful that Bakhtiari will be ready for the season opener at Minnesota on September 11.

''I think we're cautiously optimistic,'' general manager Brian Gutekunst said.

Clearly, the Packers are going to take a cautious approach with Bakhtiari, who was playing well enough to earn first-team All-Pro honours for a second time when he originally hurt the knee. His first surgery came after the 2020 season, before the second procedure to reduce swelling in the knee during the 2021 regular season.

''Everyone loves timelines,'' Bakhtiari said. ''When I'm ready, I'll be out there. What I can say is I do feel really good. I really like –  I feel normal.

"My knee feels normal and that's the biggest plus. Now it's just getting that normal feeling again when I play football, so that's what it is, the load, stress, strength, but we're not really in an ACL issue. That's actually been a long time ago that we put that chapter to bed.''

With Bakhtiari unavailable for either of Green Bay's past two playoff losses, the Packers allowed five sacks in each of those games.

Green Bay faces the possibility of opening this season without its two best offensive linemen. Elgton Jenkins is also attempting to come back from an ACL tear he suffered on November 21 against Minnesota.

The reigning Super Bowl champions will kick off the NFL season in Thursday night's primetime slot on September 8, as the Los Angeles Rams host this season's Super Bowl favourites, the Buffalo Bills.

There will be plenty of the Rams in this season's marquee timeslots as the full 2022-23 schedule was released on Thursday, including a Monday night fixture against the Green Bay Packers in week 15, and a Christmas Day game against Russell Wilson's Denver Broncos six days later.

The Broncos will not have to wait long for their first eyebrow-raising matchup, travelling to take on Wilson's former team, the Seattle Seahawks, in the first Monday night fixture of the season.

Week one's third primetime game sees Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers heading to 'Jerry World' to take on the Dallas Cowboys.

Patrick Mahomes – the man with the richest contract in the sport – will get his first primetime appearance of the season in week two's Thursday night showdown, as his Kansas City Chiefs host arguably Mahomes' only competition for best young quarterback, taking on Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers.

Four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers gets the Sunday night fixture in week two against the Packers' long-time rivals as the Chicago Bears come to town, and his week three matchup against Brady's Bucs will be must-see TV.

The Rams have the toughest strength-of-schedule based on their opponents' 2021-22 records (164-125, .567 winning percentage), while the Cowboys and the Washington Commanders are tied for the easiest schedule (133-155-1, .462 winning percentage).

Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions will be the only team in NFL this season to not have a primetime game.

The complete week one schedule features:

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (Thursday night)

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Sunday afternoon)

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans 

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (Sunday late-afternoon)

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers 

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday night)

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (Monday night)

The Green Bay Packers traded up to the 34th pick – the second selection of Friday's second round – to select wide receiver Christian Watson.

Watson, 22, measures in at 6'4 and clocked an eye-opening 4.36 40-yard dash, while flashing a 38-inch vertical leap, dispelling concerns about the low level of competition he faced playing at North Dakota State.

With the Bison, Watson scored a touchdown in seven of the first nine games of the season on the way to an FCS Championship.

He comes from the same school as quarterback Carson Wentz, who was selected number two overall in the 2016 draft.

At pick 34, Watson becomes the highest-drafted receiver by the Packers since Javon Walker was taken with the 20th selection of the 2002 NFL Draft.

With arguably the best receiver in the entire league, Davante Adams, leaving the Packers this offseason to join the Las Vegas Raiders, Watson is projected to fill a significant role as one of Aaron Rodgers' primary options.

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."

The Match will return in 2022 and this time it will pit two of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks of all time against two well on their way to assuming the same title.

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were on opposing teams in The Match IV last year, Rodgers and Bryson DeChambeau beating Brady and Phil Mickelson, but the two future Hall of Famers will team up this time around.

Indeed, Brady and Rodgers will face off against two quarterbacks who are rapidly developing a compelling rivalry of their own on the field in Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills.

Mahomes and Allen faced off in one of the best playoff games in NFL history last season as the Chiefs fought back to beat the Bills in the AFC Divisional Round 42-36 in overtime, Kansas City having led a game-tying field goal drive in just 13 seconds to force the extra period.

There is no doubt they are the future of the NFL, but the June 1 meeting in Las Vegas with Brady and Rodgers will mark the first time their golf game will be on show for a worldwide audience.

Announcing the matchup on Twitter, Brady made it clear he and Rodgers are ready to strike a blow for the NFL's old guard.

He wrote: "We tried to make this a tag team cage match but the lawyers said our contracts wouldn't allow it… #CapitalOnesTheMatch is back, June 1st. Let's kick their a**."

Marquez Valdes-Scantling is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to link up with Patrick Mahomes on the Kansas City Chiefs, even if he had to think long and hard about leaving Aaron Rodgers' Green Bay Packers. 

Valdes-Scantling became a free agent after the 2021 NFL season and followed fellow Packers receiver Davante Adams out of Green Bay. 

Like Adams, Valdes-Scantling ended up in the AFC West, tasked with helping to fill the void left by Tyreek Hill after he departed the Chiefs for the Miami Dolphins. 

Rather than be daunted by the prospect of filling in for a six-time Pro Bowler, though, Valdes-Scantling revealed he only considered the Chiefs when Hill was traded. 

The 27-year-old had spent his entire time with the Packers playing second fiddle to Adams, averaging 4.2 targets per game across his NFL career while his team-mate enjoyed 10.8 targets per game over that period. 

Valdes-Scantling was used in recent years almost solely as a deep-ball threat, leading all NFL receivers with 50 or more targets in consecutive seasons in terms of depth of target – 17.6 yards downfield on average in 2021, slightly down on 18.3 yards in 2020. 

Hill's departure means Mahomes will have to look elsewhere for a downfield option, but Valdes-Scantling might see an opportunity to have a more prominent role in Kansas City. 

"Kansas City really wasn't on my radar [at first]," he told reporters on Friday. "My agent called me and said, 'Tyreek may be traded out of there. Would you be interested in hearing what they have to say?' And I said, 'Yeah, 100 per cent.' 

"I'd been talking to a bunch of teams for a week, just kind of weeding everything out, trying to make the best decision, doing a lot of praying about it. 

"The opportunity came and I said, 'Of course I'd be interested, I'd love to play with Pat.'" 

Each of the 13 touchdown passes Valdes-Scantling has caught to date have been thrown by four-time MVP Rodgers, but Mahomes is one of the few rival quarterbacks capable of operating at the same level. 

"Obviously, me and Aaron have a great relationship," the receiver said. "It was really tough to even walk away. 

"I still had that opportunity on the table to go in and play with him for the rest of his career – whether that would be one year, two, three or however long he decides to go in and play. 

"I walked away from that opportunity and walked into one with a very similar quarterback. Obviously, talent-wise, they've both been MVPs, both won Super Bowls, so obviously both are [excellent] football players. 

"I just think that having this opportunity to build something long-term with Pat is going to be life-changing." 

The Green Bay Packers have agreed to trade superstar wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders for a package centred around draft picks.

Adams, 29, is arguably the best player at one of the sport's most important positions, establishing himself as Aaron Rodgers' primary target since arriving in the 2014 NFL Draft. 

Leading the league in receiving touchdowns in 2020 (18), Adams has posted combined numbers of 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons while attracting intense game-planning from opposition defenses.

Lacking a true number-one receiver, the Raiders are a perfect fit for Adams, and they decided to part with multiple 2022 draft picks, including their first-rounder (22 overall) and second-rounder (53), to get the deal done.

Along with the trade, Adams has also agreed a five-year deal worth up to $141m, making him the highest-paid receiver in league history.

An ESPN report suggested the Packers were willing to match the contract offer that was eventually offered by the Raiders, but bridges had already been burnt during negotiations that have been ongoing for almost a year, with NFL Network adding Rodgers aware of the situation before signing his own extension.

The Packers invested heavily this offseason, re-signing defensive players Preston Smith (four years, $52million) and De'Vondre Campbell (five years, $50m), as well as extending franchise quarterback Rodgers on an eye-watering three-year, $150m deal.

Those moves created a salary cap squeeze and the Packers ended up applying the franchise tag to Adams, which was short of fair value based on his production.

The franchise tag allows a team to go over the salary cap to extend a player's contract for one year, with the value being decided by the average of the top-five salaries in the league at the player's position.

The Packers tagged Adams, but he insisted he would not play for the team without a long-term deal in place.

The trade means a reunion between Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and his new receiver after they played together at Fresno State University.

It continues an active offseason for the Raiders after nailing down its edge rush pairing with a long-term extension of Maxx Crosby and the signing of Chandler Jones, showing the post-Mike Mayock front office is focused on big names at premium positions.

The Packers, who lost in the Divisional Round last year after two consecutive NFC Championship Game losses, must now urgently look to replenish the supporting cast for back-to-back league MVP Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers confirmed the signing of NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to a contract extension on Tuesday.

Prior to reports of a breakthrough in talks last week, the quarterback's future had been the subject of much speculation.

The four-time MVP – who has won the award in each of the past two seasons – was non-committal on whether he would return to Green Bay for the 2022 season.

Rodgers had entered the 2021 campaign in the wake of a stand-off with the Packers after his desire to leave was reported on the opening night of last year's draft.

A move elsewhere and retirement both seemed to be options on the table for Rodgers, who led the Packers to a NFL-best 13-4 record last season.

But relations between Rodgers and the Packers at the end of the season appeared more amiable than they were back in April of 2021 – and the 38-year-old soon confirmed he would be staying following the reported agreement.

Rodgers disputed the supposed $200million value of his new deal, but full details of the agreement were reported on Tuesday before the Packers announced his signing.

According to widespread reports, Rodgers agreed to a four-year extension to his deal, which has a year to run, although the final two seasons are placeholders for cap purposes that can be redone.

It means the $150m agreement is worth $50m per year to Rodgers over the next three seasons, the highest salary in the NFL on a per-year basis.

Announcing the contract but not its terms, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said: "We are very pleased to be able to come to an agreement with Aaron that keeps him in Green Bay.

"His play on the field and leadership in our locker room remain vital in our pursuit of another Super Bowl title.

"The agreement also allows us to maintain and enhance what we feel is already a very competitive roster."

Aaron Rodgers has confirmed he will return to the Green Bay Packers next season but denied signing a contract and refuted the alleged figures involved. 

NFL Network on Tuesday reported that Rodgers had agreed a four-year, $200million deal with Green Bay to make him the highest-paid player in NFL history. 

The quarterback was said to be receiving $153m guaranteed while giving the Packers room in the salary cap, which would have opened the door for the franchise tag to be placed on Davante Adams. 

Reigning MVP Rodgers took to Twitter to confirm he would be back on the field for the Packers next season. However, he claimed the details that had been reported were "inaccurate". 

"Hey everyone, just wanted to clear some things up; YES I will be playing with the @packers next year," Rodgers posted. 

"However, reports about me signing a contract are inaccurate, as are the supposed terms of the contract I 'signed'. 

"I'm very excited to be back. #year18" 

Rodgers was named MVP after throwing for 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions in the 2021 season. He ended the campaign ranked first in the NFL in touchdown percentage (7.0), interception percentage (0.8) and passer rating (111.9). 

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