Green Bay Packers great Brett Favre would be shocked if star receiver Davante Adams has the same production with the Las Vegas Raiders as he had playing alongside quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Adams signed a five-year, $141.25million contract extension with the Raiders after a blockbuster offseason trade from the Packers, turning down an offer of more money to remain in Green Bay.

The pass-catcher left four-time MVP and 38-year-old Rodgers to reunite with Derek Carr, who was his QB in college at Fresno State.

Favre is in no doubt the presence of Adams will improve Carr and the Raiders but would be surprised if the wideout was able to match his career-best totals of 123 receptions for 1,553 yards last season.

Adams also caught 11 touchdowns in 2021, which was his second straight All-Pro season, having grabbed an incredible 18 the year before. 

"Derek Carr is a very good quarterback, but he's not in Aaron's league yet," Favre said to TMZ Sports.

"He may never be, and that's no disrespect either, but I do think that Davante owes a great deal of gratitude to Aaron and the Packers drafting him.

"That's not to say he's not a great player because he is a tremendous player and we'll see that with Las Vegas. 

"But it's just hard to shift gears, especially from a player as prolific as Aaron Rodgers. 

"I'd be shocked if he had the same year he's had this year. That's not to say he can't do it, but I would be shocked."

Favre added: "No disrespect to Davante at all - zero disrespect. I do think that Davante will make Derek Carr better and, in time, they will be a dynamic duo. 

"Now will it be the duo that Aaron and Davante had? Time will tell."

Adams and Carr will be part of a star-studded AFC West in 2022.

The Kansas City Chiefs have won the division for six straight years and made four straight AFC Championship Games, but all three of their rivals go into the year with postseason aspirations.

Las Vegas have added Adams as one of many high-profile moves and the Denver Broncos traded for star QB Russell Wilson.

The Los Angeles Chargers, meanwhile, have high expectations as they surround Justin Herbert with one of the NFL's strongest all-round rosters.

In the end, All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams chose the Las Vegas Raiders over staying with the Green Bay Packers.  

The five-time Pro Bowl selection confirmed to reporters that the Packers offered him more money this offseason than the Raiders, with whom Adams signed a five-year, $141.25million contract extension after being traded.  

After the Packers traded Adams in March for a first-round draft pick and a second-round draft pick, reports surfaced that Green Bay was willing to pay the star receiver just as much – and maybe more – than Las Vegas.  

Adams confirmed those reports in a press conference Thursday.  

"You guys have heard Green Bay offered this, which is higher than what I was [going to make with the Raiders] and all of that. And, yeah, I’ll say it, it was true. OK, it was true," Adams said.

"But there’s much more that goes into it. And family is a big part of it for me. So, geographically being here, it makes it a lot easier for me to stay connected to my family year-round. 

"And this isn’t year two, or I’m not trying to necessarily fight for a job or anything like that to where you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do – you’ve got to stay out there. I had the choice, and the choice was for me to come here and raise my family on the West Coast and come out here and have some fun in the sun." 

Adams, who ranks second all-time in Packers history with 73 receiving touchdowns, leaves four-time MVP and 38-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers to reunite with Derek Carr, who was Adams' quarterback at Fresno State.  

"[Rodgers and I] talked throughout the whole process," Adams said in his press conference.  "Just like what he said the other day, we had talks about his future and what he thinks his duration in Green Bay or just football in general would look like. 

"And that played into my decision as well because where I am in my career – and this isn’t a shot at any other quarterbacks in Green Bay. I love Jordan Love especially, he’s a great guy. But I’ve got aspirations of doing really, really big things and being remembered.  

"And it just wasn’t really a point in my career that I was willing to sacrifice Aaron not being there after a year or two. So my decision was to be here and he respected that, he understood that."

Aaron Rodgers has confirmed he intends to finish his storied career as a Green Bay Packer, though he was less definitive on exactly how long he plans to keep playing.

Speaking to reporters following Tuesday's first practice of mandatory minicamp, the two-time reigning NFL MVP revealed he was taking it year by year as he enters his 18th season.

That is despite Rodgers signing a three-year contract extension in March that runs through 2026.

"The conversations I've had with [general manager] Brian [Gutekunst] have been very honest and direct, and that's not going to change," Rodgers said. 

"We'll sit down after the season, hopefully after a championship, and figure out what the next step is."

Rodgers left no doubt, however, when asked if he wants his final game to come with the only team he has played for since entering the NFL in 2005.

"Yes, definitely," he said. "Unless they trade me. When I made the decision [to return], that's 100 per cent in. 

"But it doesn’t mean you don’t think about the other side. This is my 18th season. Of course you think about the next chapter and what is next in your life all the time. 

"It doesn't mean you’re not fully invested."

Rodgers' stance is in stark contrast to that of a year ago, when a public rift between him and Gutekunst prompted the star quarterback to skip minicamp and reportedly request a trade. 

The two ultimately patched things up, and Rodgers went on to produce one of his best statistical seasons in 2021 to earn the fourth MVP award of his brilliant career.

The 38-year-old’s future was again somewhat in limbo this offseason, with Rodgers saying in March he was not sure if he wanted to play the upcoming season with the Packers or another team. 

He later agreed to a three-year, $150million extension that made him the league's highest-paid player in terms of annual salary.

While Rodgers will be back for at least one more season, the Packers did undergo one major change since their loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs back in January after trading Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders at the All-Pro receiver's request.

The offense will also have a new play-caller for 2022 after offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was named the Denver Broncos’ head coach, and quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy also departed to become the Chicago Bears' OC.

"The offense has to change," Rodgers remarked. "Last year, when you have a guy who is that talented, it's probably not an exaggeration to say that 80 per cent of the plays in the passing game were designed specifically for [Adams]. 

"So we're obviously going to do some things a little different."

Rodgers is using this week's practices as a chance to get acclimated with a new group of receivers that includes veteran Sammy Watkins and a pair of 2022 draft picks, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, who could play key roles as rookies.

"I like production over potential," Rodgers admitted. 

"We have some production. We have a lot of potential, so we need to temper expectations and heighten the accountability."

The Green Bay Packers have agreed a four-year contract extension with Jaire Alexander to make him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL.

According to multiple reports, Green Bay and Alexander have come to terms on a deal worth $84million.

The Packers have made that commitment to the 2018 first-round pick despite him playing just four games last season.

Alexander suffered a sprained shoulder in the Week 4 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and underwent surgery.

He did not play again in the regular season. Alexander was activated for the Divisional Round game with the San Francisco 49ers but played only eight defensive snaps as the Packers lost 13-10 at home.

Despite his injury-hindered 2021, Alexander is still tied for 14th among all corners for pass breakups since 2018, registering 44 in that time.

In his last full season in 2020, Alexander was arguably the top corner in the NFL.

He allowed a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted, on just 30.6 per cent of targets, the second-best ratio among corners with at least 50 targets.

Alexander was first in burn yards per target (5.22), burn yards per snap (0.84) and second in big-play rate allowed (13 per cent).

And he will now be paid at a rate that reflects his importance to the Packers, Alexander's deal set to pay him $31m in year one, $45m through year two and $61m through year three.

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' first regular-season game outside of the United States will see them face the New York Giants.

It was confirmed in February that reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and Co. would play in London for the first time.

That game will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 9, with the Packers taking on a historic NFC foe in Week 5.

The Giants won the inaugural London game at Wembley in 2007, defeating the Miami Dolphins, and beat the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham in 2016.

Tottenham will also play host to a clash between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints on October 2.

Both the Vikings and Saints have played and won twice in London, New Orleans shutting out the Miami Dolphins on their last appearance in 2017.

The sole Wembley game will see new Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson face Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars at England's national stadium on October 30.

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."

Plenty of bad teams have needs at wide receiver, but that is hardly unique to this 2022 NFL Draft.

The Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons, for instance, just need good players at any position.

Elsewhere, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears are attempting to build around young quarterbacks, perhaps optimistically hoping to follow the example of the Cincinnati Bengals – who took Joe Burrow and the 2021 WR1 Ja'Marr Chase all the way to the Super Bowl.

The upcoming draft is a little different, though, in that at least two teams with far more realistic title ambitions will be targeting the brightest and best receivers another deep class has to offer.

Both the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs have two first-round picks; particularly in the case of the Packers, they badly need them.

Aaron Rodgers is back for another year, but Davante Adams is not. Adams – who was stunningly traded to the Las Vegas Raiders, where he was given a lucrative contract – accounted for 30.6 per cent of the Packers' catches and 34.3 per cent of their receiving yards last season. He leaves a huge hole.

Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb are returning and will have big roles to play, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling – the Packers' deep-ball option, with the greatest average depth of target in the NFL in consecutive seasons – is also gone.

The Packers are only too aware of what can happen when quarterback Rodgers is not backed in the first round of the draft, so it would be no great surprise to see two leading wideouts head to Green Bay.

The Chiefs are in a similar position, having also traded their dominant receiver and allowed another team – the Miami Dolphins – to pay Tyreek Hill. Only Adams (47) has caught more touchdown passes than Hill (43) since Patrick Mahomes' debut on New Year's Eve 2017.

Although Mahomes does have a leading tight end to fall back on in Travis Kelce, the Chiefs' work so far in this offseason – including bringing in Valdes-Scantling – does not quite look to have restored their offense to its former glories. Especially in the highly competitive AFC West that Adams now occupies.

Finding a player of the ilk of Adams or Hill is a tall order, but the Chiefs, like the Packers, have to try. So, who are the pass catchers under consideration in the first round?

Jameson Williams

On pure talent, Williams – who had 79 catches for 1,572 yards and 15 TDs in 2021 – should be gone long before the Packers or the Chiefs are on the clock. But an ACL tear in January might see him fall just a little further.

There is not a statistic that reflects poorly on Williams, although he is of interest primarily due to the remarkable speed that makes him an elite separator, much like Hill. At Alabama, the transfer from Ohio State had a burn rate of 74.6 per cent, winning his matchup with a defender on almost three-quarters of his targets and recording 19.3 burn yards per target – both well clear of his fellow first-round candidates, as he was in getting open on 86.0 per cent of targets.

Hill (70.8 per cent) ranked fourth in the NFL last year for burn rate and was open on 82.7 per cent of targets.

Crucially, heading into the NFL, Williams showed himself to be capable of operating either out wide or in the slot. The 21-year-old's burn rate playing inside was 77.5 per cent, actually up on his 73.0 per cent playing as an outside receiver.

Garrett Wilson

Williams left Ohio State having found himself behind two receivers who may go in the first round this year – including Wilson, who is rivalling Williams for WR1 in a number of mock drafts.

Wilson had 70 catches for 1,058 yards and 12 TDs last year and also does not lack for speed, running a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. His calling cards, however, are the lower-body flexibility, foot quickness, and route-running savvy that propelled him to 15.1 yards per reception and allowed him to register a burn on 71.6 per cent of his targets.

Of the two Ohio State receivers on this list – we'll come on to the other – Wilson was less of a deep-ball threat, with his average depth of target 11.3 yards.

That is far from an issue for a team looking for a primary option, however, instead showing the variety that was asked of Adams (9.4 yards) and Hill (10.3 yards) in 2021.

Chris Olave

Completing the trio who were Buckeye team-mates for two seasons is Olave, who also shared touches with Wilson last year, even if they were tasked with different roles.

Olave was targeted on just 26.9 per cent of his routes, compared to 30.6 per cent for Wilson, but that was because he often provided the deep threat.

His average depth of target was 14.3 yards in 2021 and had been a huge 18.9 yards in his previous full season in 2019, third-most among Power 5 receivers. Perhaps he makes more sense for the Packers, who have just lost Valdes-Scantling, than for the Chiefs, who have just signed him.

Either way, this is a role Olave relishes, catching 13 TD passes last season to boost him to 35 across a four-year college career, the most in Ohio State history. A smooth and, like Wilson, detailed route-runner who tracks the ball extremely well, Wilson would surely thrive immediately if paired with Rodgers. 

Treylon Burks

If Olave does not fit the bill for either the Packers or the Chiefs, Burks might, for his game is completely different to the man from Ohio State.

Burks' average depth of target last year was just 9.4 yards as he was regularly deployed out of the backfield by Arkansas, who consistently got the ball in his hands through screen passes and designed hand-offs. 

Part of their reason for doing so was the threat Burks poses in the open field. He averaged 9.27 yards after the catch in 2021 – more than Williams' 9.16.

Burks far outperformed his 7.96 expected yards per target and recorded 14.08 burn yards per target, making excellent use of his combination of physicality and play speed that was not reflected by his 4.55 40-yard dash. 

Able to win downfield by relying on his frame and his route-running ability, Burks may possess the most varied skill set of any receiver in the draft, having registered 38 carries across three seasons with the Razorbacks and drawing comparisons to San Francisco 49ers 'wide back' Deebo Samuel.

If he can be that sort of player in the NFL, Burks works for the Packers, the Chiefs or just about anybody.

Jahan Dotson

While some on this list are worth considering for their physical attributes alone, it is Dotson's ball skills that make him stand out.

His catch rating – measured between 0 and 1 based on how well a receiver successfully catches throws that are considered catchable – was an outstanding 0.978 in 2021. He dropped only a single pass.

Reflecting on an incredible one-handed catch against Ohio State in 2020, the Penn State star said: "I approach that [ball] as a million dollars. It's a million dollars in the air. If you want it, you go get it." Dotson will make plenty of money in the NFL if he continues to rein in similar passes.

Dotson was not outstanding at beating defenders (63.8 per cent) or getting open (76.6 per cent) last season but still caught 12 TD passes on a Penn State team that struggled amid sub-par quarterback play in 2021.

Drake London

Now, the Packers and the Chiefs will not be looking at London as a like-for-like replacement for Adams or Hill.

Finding a comparison for London is not an easy task, as few players are blessed with his blend of size and fluidity as a route-runner. 

London is 6ft 4in but just 213lbs and initially played basketball as well as football at USC.

A broken ankle meant he did not run a 40-yard dash at either the NFL Combine or his pro day, but his speed is not considered to be anything special – not that it matters.

Despite getting open on just 67.2 per cent of his targets in 2021, he beat his defender in 71.3 per cent of matchups, speaking to the ease with which he can change direction. 

"I really don't have to blow by guys to catch the ball," he said. "I can, but I don't have to."

There were five drops, but London faced a huge number of contested catches and usually came out on top thanks to long arms and considerable wingspan.

He will need a quarterback who will trust him to come away with the ball even if he is not open, as was the case last season when he was targeted on a mammoth 42.4 per cent of his routes.

The NFL Draft is rarely dominated by teams in contention to lift the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the upcoming season.

Though trades regularly shuffle the pack, more often than not the draft headlines are made by teams who finished at the wrong end of the regular-season standings in the previous campaign, such is the nature of league's annual selection meeting.

While those franchises with rosters capable of contending to go all the way to the Super Bowl may not be as reliant on the draft as those rebuilding their teams, the selections they make can be critical in providing the potential final piece of what they hope will be a championship-winning puzzle.

Inevitably, not every team expected to contend in April will do so once the season gets under way in September.

Yet we can make educated guesses as to which teams will be in the mix to go deep into the postseason in each conference.

Here Stats Perform has identified four such teams from each conference, with the Cleveland Browns omitted from the list due to the threat of a possible suspension for new starting quarterback Deshaun Watson.

With help from some advanced metrics, we look at what each of these eight teams need to add in the draft to maximise their hopes of standing underneath the confetti in Arizona next February.

NFC

Los Angeles Rams

Identifying draft needs for the Rams is a difficult task not because they don't have any, but because they so often fill their holes by trading away their picks to land superstars.

This year, the Rams don't pick until 104 overall in the third round, not that the Super Bowl champions will mind skipping the first two rounds.

When it finally comes to their turn, the interior of the offensive line stands out as an area of weakness, while the Rams might also be eyeing an edge rusher to help fill the void left by Von Miller, whose stunt-adjusted pass rush win percentage of 43.4 was fifth among edge rushers with at least 100 one-on-one matchups last year.

San Francisco 49ers

The Niners are in a similar position to the Rams in that they don't have a lot of needs, though the urgency is greater for a team that let a fourth-quarter lead slip against Los Angeles in the NFC Championship Game.

Right guard has been a long-standing issue for San Francisco, and the Niners will also need to find a developmental center to replace Alex Mack when he eventually retires. Nebraska's Cam Jurgens is a name to watch there.

San Francisco do not pick until 61st overall in the second round, having traded this year's first-rounder in the package that landed Trey Lance. A defense that ranked first in pass rush win rate could be stacked further by another edge rusher to pair with Nick Bosa, and there is a clear need next to Jimmie Ward at safety.

Of course, what would really make it a successful draft for the Niners would be finally trading Jimmy Garoppolo to secure more picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There's a theme here, and the theme is that trying to find needs for NFC contenders is tough, especially in the case of the Bucs, who brought back Tom Brady after he quickly got bored with retirement and re-signed a host of free agents many expected to depart.

With Todd Bowles assuming the head coaching reins from Bruce Arians, it's fair to anticipate a focus on the defense from the Bucs, who own the 27th pick in the first round as well as two other top-100 selections.

More beef on the interior of the defensive line is required with Ndamukong Suh as yet not re-signed and, though Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal have signed as safety help to atone for Jordan Whitehead's departure, a rookie who can make a difference down in the box and in coverage would be a welcome addition to the defense.

Green Bay Packers

Now this is more like it. The Packers have one glaring, obvious need and there's no way they can fail to address it, right?

Brian Gutekunst may have a history of eschewing first-round wide receivers but, after trading Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, it would be an extremely bemusing move to risk Aaron Rodgers' wrath and do so again.

Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, Jahan Dotson... they all must be in the mix here and, with two selections in the first round, the Packers could even double up at the position.

There are other holes. The secondary could use some more quality depth, and an offensive line that ranked 28th in run-block win rate could also be improved, but the Packers' hopes of getting over the hump in 2022 likely rest on their ability to give Rodgers weapons that mitigate the impact of Adams' stunning departure.

AFC

Kansas City Chiefs

After Patrick Mahomes faced the most pressures in a Super Bowl since 2006 in consecutive years (28 in SB LIV, 34 in SB LV), the Chiefs overhauled their offensive line heading into 2021 and were confident they were on course for the title game once again – only for Mahomes' own stunning playoff collapse to end both the team's season and the career of Tyreek Hill in Kansas City.

Hill's departure in a trade to the Miami Dolphins leaves a gaping hole.

New signing Marquez Valdes-Scantling at least offers a downfield option, but that was his sole responsibility with the Packers in 2021, recording a league-high average depth of target of 17.6 yards but making just 26 catches. Valdes-Scantling and fellow recruit JuJu Smith-Schuster, who's coming off shoulder surgery, have just one 1,000-yard season between them; Hill has four.

Thankfully, the Hill deal means the Chiefs have plenty of draft picks – two in each of the first three rounds – and plenty of options at wide receiver, but safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerback Charvarius Ward must also be replaced just to get Kansas City back to where they started.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are a year behind the Chiefs, beaten in the Super Bowl after leaving their quarterback horribly exposed. Joe Burrow faced 23 pressures against the Rams, tied for third-most since 2006.

Like the Chiefs, they quickly set about bolstering their O line in free agency, though there remains a pressing need at left guard. Ted Karras played there for the New England Patriots last year, but is set to move back into center after Trey Hopkins was cut.

That versatility at least gives the Bengals options at either position depending on how the draft plays out, with their first pick not until the end of the first round (31). In fact, given competition at cornerback, edge and/or tight end could also be sought, the Bengals may be flexible throughout.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are the Super Bowl favourites, and with good reason. They were a coin flip away from beating the Chiefs and would have backed themselves against the Bengals, which might have quelled some of the optimism in Cincinnati channelled above. Buffalo have also added Super Bowl champion Miller to a defense that gave up a league-low 4.57 yards per play.

That's not to say there don't remain areas for improvement, with cornerback an obvious place to start. Tre'Davious White is returning from an ACL tear, and the Bills need a new man opposite him, given the loss of Levi Wallace.

The Bills might also be advised to ease the burden on all-action quarterback Josh Allen with the addition of a reliable running back. Allen ranked third among QBs for rushing yards in 2021 (763) but accounted for 34.5 per cent of his team's total – far and away the greatest share at his position.

Second on the list was former MVP Lamar Jackson (767 yards, 30.9 per cent), who's already showing signs of wear and tear having been tasked with running the Baltimore Ravens' offense.

Los Angeles Chargers

Outside the Packers, the Chargers perhaps have the most obvious positional need of any contender at right tackle – despite their own strong signings so far.

Left tackle Rashawn Slater was their first-round pick in 2021 and earned Pro Bowl recognition in his rookie season. Among offensive tackles with 200 or more pass protection snaps, Slater's stunt-adjusted win percentage of 90.5 ranked third. However, that stood in complete contrast to right tackle Storm Norton, whose 63.0 per cent ranked third-last.

Norton was brought in to play 15 games after a back injury put Bryan Bulaga on injured reserve. Bulaga has now been cut, and the Chargers surely cannot run it back with Norton.

The very best OTs in the draft are unlikely to still be available when the Chargers get to work in the middle of the first round, but it's no surprise to see them widely linked with Northern Iowa's Trevor Penning.

Matt LaFleur and the Green Bay Packers did not want to lose Davante Adams, but it was a trade the team had to make.

Superstar wide receiver Adams left the Packers to join the Las Vegas Raiders in a blockbuster trade earlier in March.

The 29-year-old signed a five-year deal worth up to $141million, making him the highest-paid receiver in league history.

Adams has posted combined numbers of 2,927 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons, leaving a big void for the Packers to fill.

"That was one of those things those decisions are never easy to make," coach LaFleur said during the NFL owners' meetings.

"Unfortunately, it was one that we had to come to. I think a lot of it was driven by Davante, but there's no sense in looking back. We're moving forward. We appreciate everything he's done, obviously.

"It's a lot to replace in terms of production and the type of leader he was for us. But again it was one of those deals you never want to back, but sometimes you have to make.

"Sometimes you got to make some tough decisions. Certainly appreciate everything Davante brought to our team. I mean, he is the best receiver in the National Football League, so that was a tough one for me personally and for our organisation."

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who had 430 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2021, has also left the Packers, and LaFleur knows his team need replacements.

"Certainly, if you look at our roster right now, we definitely need to get some speed in that room," LaFleur added.

"We need a legit guy that can take off the top of the coverage. We lost a guy that was pretty good at doing that.

"It's like putting a puzzle together, you've got to find those pieces that you're missing and put it all together. How that's going to look in the end? I have no idea right now."

One major boost, at least, for the Packers was the return of Aaron Rodgers, with the back-to-back MVP becoming the highest-paid player in the NFL when averaged out per-year.

"I actually received a text message that confirmed Aaron was coming back," LaFleur said when asked if he knew Rodgers was going to sign a new deal.

"I was in an offensive meeting. I actually darted out right away just to make sure I read it the right way before I let everybody know.

"I would say that I had pretty good feelings about it since the Super Bowl ended up until that point. Until you know, you really don't know."

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 Kansas City Chiefs are signing free agent Marquez Valdes-Scantling to a three-year, $36million contract as they seek to rebuild their offense following the departure of Tyreek Hill.

Six-time Pro Bowler Hill failed to agree terms on a new deal with the Chiefs and so was traded to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks on Wednesday.

That left the Chiefs without their number one wide receiver – and it remains to be seen how exactly they replace the game-breaking attributes of Patrick Mahomes' top target.

Their first move – according to ESPN and NFL Network – has been to sign a receiver familiar with elite quarterback play, bringing in Valdes-Scantling after four years with Aaron Rodgers on the Green Bay Packers.

However, Valdes-Scantling played second fiddle to Davante Adams – now with the Chiefs' AFC West rivals the Las Vegas Raiders – in Green Bay.

He last year ranked as low as third among Packers receivers for targets (55) and receiving yards (430) and fourth for catches (26) and receiving touchdowns (three), albeit he played only 11 games due to a hamstring injury.

Valdes-Scantling was used primarily by Rodgers 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.

That approach was less effective last year, as Valdes-Scantling got open on just 54.7 per cent of his targets – the third-worst rate in the league.

By contrast, in 2021, Hill's average depth of target was only 10.3 yards, yet he got open 82.7 per cent of the time and tallied 824 receiving yards at the point of catch, ranking sixth among receivers.

Valdes-Scantling alone is highly unlikely to plug the hole he leaves, with the Chiefs set to turn to the draft with two first-round picks. They have also signed JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Za'Darius Smith has agreed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings, according to reports.

The 29-year-old became a free agent after being released by the Green Bay Packers, and has now signed on with their NFC North rivals.

Reports suggest Smith's contract in Minnesota will have a base value of $42million, and potentially be worth up to $47m with incentives.

He had been expected to return to the Baltimore Ravens last week – whom he left for Green Bay in 2019 – supposedly agreeing to a four-year, $35m deal, but later pulled out.

In the days following Smith's apparent signing, both Von Miller and Chandler Jones – who are several years older than Smith – signed contracts with the Buffalo Bills and Las Vegas Raiders respectively, worth nearly double the annual salary of the deal offered by the Ravens.

The versatile edge rusher recorded 18.5 sacks in four seasons in Baltimore after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2015.

He then racked up 26 sacks across his first two years in Green Bay, helping them to back-to-back NFC Championship Game appearances.

However, a back injury limited him to just one regular-season appearance in 2021. Smith returned for the Packers' Divisional Round matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, but could not prevent a 13-10 defeat.

One of the NFL's most prolific quarterback and wide receiver duos saw their time together come to an end on Thursday as Davante Adams was traded by the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Adams' departure ends his association with MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the apparent telepathy between that duo helping keep the Packers at the forefront of the NFC over the past three seasons.

Since Adams was drafted in 2014, Rodgers had found him for 68 receiving touchdowns. Since 1991, when Stats Perform started collecting data, they are seventh in that category among quarterback and receiver duos.

Arguably the league's premier wide receiver, Adams' impact will be near-impossible to replace, but the Packers do have avenues via which they can attempt to fill the void, especially in a draft where the Packers now have picks 22 and 28 in the first round.

Here, Stats Perform looks at some of the potential additions the Packers could make to minimise the pain of Adams' exit.

FREE AGENCY

Jarvis Landry

Released by the Cleveland Browns having previously been given permission to seek a trade, Landry is coming off a season in which he played only 12 games and produced career lows in receiving yards (570) and touchdowns (two).

However, the advanced numbers suggest he still has plenty in the tank as a wideout who can operate on the outside and in the slot.

According to Stats Perform data, Landry finished the 2021 season with an open percentage of 40, well above the league average of 32.58. His combined open percentage against man and zone coverage was 38.3.

Odell Beckham Jr.

The most high-profile receiver still on the free-agent market is the one the Packers were reportedly interested in before he signed with the Los Angeles Rams following his release from the Browns.

Beckham appeared to voice his displeasure on social media after news of Adams' historic contract with the Raiders emerged, the former New York Giant having also seen the Rams agree to a contract with Allen Robinson in free agency.

His torn ACL suffered in the Rams' Super Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bengals may be complicating matters for the defending champions, and there could be an opportunity for the Packers to take advantage and lure him to Lambeau Field.

With five touchdowns in his final seven regular-season games in 2021 and two in the Rams' triumphant postseason, Beckham showed plenty to suggest he can still be an elite NFL wide receiver; his open percentage against man of 46.97 was 10th among receivers with at least 100 matchups.

Will Fuller

Staying on the field has been a career-long battle for Fuller, who featured in just two games in his lone season with the Miami Dolphins last year.

Yet he could prove an affordable option and give the Packers a speedy downfield weapon if they do not re-sign Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Among wideouts with at least 50 targets, Fuller was fifth in burn rate – which measures how often a receiver wins his matchup on a play where he is targeted – in 2020, recording a burn on 73.3 per cent of his targets.

He was also fifth in burn yards per target (14.08) and tied 10th in big-play rate (39 per cent).

DRAFT

Chris Olave – Ohio State

There isn't a Davante Adams in this year's draft, but it's still an extremely deep receiver class, in which Olave is near the top.

Possessing an extremely intriguing blend of speed and refined route-running ability, Olave is frequently linked with the Packers in mock drafts.

A big-play threat who can be a significant weapon in the red zone, only DeVonta Smith (37) scored more receiving touchdowns in the FBS than Olave (32) between 2019 and 2021.

Treylon Burks – Arkansas

At 6ft 3in and 225 pounds, Burks would bring significant size to the receiver position for the Packers, as well as plenty of versatility.

Burks was not used in a conventional sense for a receiver of his frame by the Razorbacks, frequently receiving the ball on screens and carries out of the backfield.

Just 169 of his 1,104 receiving yards came at the catch point in 2021, illustrating his prowess after the catch in the open field. Despite not being used as regularly downfield as some might expect, he was still second in the SEC to Jameson Williams (24) with 20 receiving plays of 20 yards or more.

With his experience operating out of the backfield and the potential to use him as a 'power slot' given his size, Burks could add an intriguing different dimension to the Green Bay passing game.

Jameson Williams – Alabama

Speaking of Williams, it will be fascinating to see how far he falls in the draft after his season ended with him suffering a torn ACL in the National Championship Game loss to Georgia in January.

The Packers should at least give thought to using their second pick in the first round on the former Crimson Tide burner, whose devastating combination of track star speed, foot quickness and route-running savvy made him a nightmare for defenders across college football.

It is not clear when Williams would be ready to start building a rapport with Rodgers, but there is no doubt over how potent they could be together.

Williams averaged 19.9 yards per reception last year, while no player in the FBS had more than his nine catches of at least 50 yards, making him a likely ideal match for one of the best deep ball throwers in the NFL.

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