The Green Bay Packers and the Las Vegas Raiders were the latest NFL teams that shook the league to its core. In what has become possibly the craziest week in free agency in NFL history, another bomb was dropped. Thursday evening, the Packers agreed to trade All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders. In return, the Packers received a first-round and a second-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, picks #22 and #53 overall. Meanwhile, once the trade was completed, the Raiders signed Adams to a five-year, $141 million deal. That made Adams the highest-paid wide receiver in league history.
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The trade likely left Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers feeling like he was stuck holding the bag. It certainly puts a hamper on their Super Bowl hopes. On the flip side, the move was another shocking addition to the AFC West as the Raiders are clearly showing Derek Carr they are all-in on him and this team.
So, let's go ahead and grade the Green Bay Packers-Las Vegas Raiders Davante Adams trade.
Grading the Packers-Raiders Davante Adams Trade
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: A-
There are a number of factors to think about when grading this trade from the Raiders' perspective. Obviously, they landed one of the, if not the, best wide receiver in the world right now. I'm sure triple-crown winning Cooper Kupp might have something to say about that, but I digress.
Adams has been dominating the NFL over the last few years like no other receiver.
Since 2018, Adams leads all receivers in touchdown receptions, receiving yards and catches. It's hard to argue with the Raiders decision to bring him into the fold, at whatever the cost.
Las Vegas, prior to the trade and new contract for Adams, had a little over $36 million in cap space. So, they can still absorb that massive contract given to the Pro Bowl receiver. He is slated to earn about $28 million in 2022. Without that financial flexibility, its likely this trade never comes to fruition.
So, they have the space to fit Adams under the cap. But what about a fit on the field.
The Raiders finally took a big step forward last season, making the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and only the second time in 20 years. Much of that had to do with the emergence of wideout Hunter Renfrow. Renfrow posted a career-high 103 catches for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns. The former Clemson standout receiver had broken out, but at times, struggled to break free through zone concepts on defense.
With the addition of Adams on the other side of the field, it should create even more space for Renfrow over the middle of the field. Don't forget, the Raiders also have one of the best tight ends in football in Darren Waller. Waller has over 3,000 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns over the last three seasons.
They already have a solid running game, led by Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake. The Raiders even boast one of the best pass rushes in the NFL after they acquired Pro Bowl defensive end Chandler Jones in free agency. He is paired with Maxx Crosby and should be an exciting tandem.
There is also the fact that Adams and Carr were college teammates at Fresno State. So, they know each other very well and it likely will not take long to get back on the same page.
The only reason this is not a full A grade, Davante Adams' age. He is 29 years old. The Raiders are going to be paying a wide receiver almost $30 million a year into his mid-30's. Mid-30's is where receivers careers go to die.
GREEN BAY PACKERS: B
It's difficult to argue against landing a first-round and a second-round pick in the draft for a wide receiver. That's a ton of draft capital. If I were only grading this on what the Packers got directly from Adams, it would be a home run. But I just can't do it.
The Packers have been on the brink of another championship for years. They reached back-to-back NFC Championships before taking a step back last season losing in the divisional round. But once Aaron Rodgers made the decision to stay in Green Bay, everyone thought maybe this is the year.
The defense appeared to surprisingly be staying mostly in tact, and now with Rodgers and Adams together, they could make another run at the Super Bowl. Suddenly, the Packers are without a true top receiver, and no one really knows if Allen Lazard (who is also a restricted free agent) is capable of even being a true number two.
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers chances at winning another title took a massive hit with this trade. For that reason, they get docked significantly since that has been the primary goal.