When the news broke that the Packers had traded Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, I was flabbergasted.
Adams has been one of the best, if not the best wide receivers in the NFL for the last five years. He was our super star player who we knew we could always count on for a clutch play. I had been singing his praises for years, not just for having the best release in the game, but for his uncanny connection with Aaron Rodgers.
The news that he left the Packers, who were reportedly offering him the same amount of money, to Las Vegas was heart-breaking. Even to this day I am still unsure how I feel about the trade.
Part of me, mainly the sad and bitter part, says good riddance. If Adams didn’t want to play for our team, just so he could play with his pal from college and not with a HOF quarterback, then I say we didn’t need him. But, the other part of me is devastated not only because of his on-field talent, but everything he has given to the Packers and fans.
I definitely think this relationship was not going to work out, especially after the Packers franchise-tagged him. He didn’t want to play for the Packers anymore.
I just wish, like other fans that saw the inevitable, that we could’ve gotten more draft capital from the trade. A player of that caliber should warrant more than just two picks, a first and a second rounder. Getting more than two picks would’ve made the trade less painful.
There are some positives that came from the Adams trade. You never see a team win a Super Bowl when they have two of the highest paid players in their position on the same team. That just doesn’t really happen because that means you sacrifice the surrounding cast for those two players.
With the money we saved from having to pay Adams, who has a monster five-year $141.25 million deal, we were able to give cornerback Rasul Douglas an extension. We resigned Robert Tonyan, a personal favorite of mine, and signed defensive tackle Jarran Reed. The Packers also still have some money to spend on a free agent.
This brings me to what steps the Packers need to take in order to replace Adams. This won’t come in the form of one player, because he is so talented, but must come from a multitude of different steps. Our current wide receiver corps has Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Malik Taylor, Juwann Winfree and Chris Blair. Definitely not the most intimidating wide receiver room we’ve had.
Based on comments from Packers President Mark Murphy it seems clear that the team will use the draft as a way to supplement talent we lost. We currently have the 22nd pick and the 28th pick which should still allow us to draft a talented receiver.
Some names I’ve seen floated around are Christian Watson, Chris Olave and Jameson Williams. To get Olave and even Williams we would probably have to trade our first round picks to move up the draft. Both would be good options, but Williams will probably not be ready for the beginning of the season because of his ACL tear.
Watson is from NDSU and has decent size at 6-foot-4. He would need to add strength as he is only 205 pounds. Another thing is that he has to improve his route running and using his size against defenders. However, what is really intriguing about Watson is his athleticism and his blazing speed. He ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.36 seconds which is quite good. Ever since we lost Marquez Valdes Scantling to the Chiefs, we need to replace our deep threat. Watson could be the answer to this with his ability to take the top off of defenses.
Another thing the Packers should look into is trying to pick up a veteran wide receiver who can make an immediate impact. Our team is built to make another Super Bowl run, we are “reloading” on talent. Rodgers came back because we weren’t going into full rebuild mode. This veteran wide receiver can also help anyone we draft and show them the ropes. I really thought the Packers should try to sign Devante Parker, but he has been signed by the Patriots. Now that he is off the table the Packers should look towards other players. Will Fuller would be a good replacement for MVS as well. My only concern with him is his injury history
Another standout player available is Jarvis Landry. Now that the Browns have Deshaun Watson, maybe Landry will stay in Cleveland. But, if he still wants to leave we should inquire about him. However, we should not sign him if he is still asking for the reported $20 million deal. We don’t want to waste our money on him and not be able to sign more players in free agency. There are other options that are cheaper and still just as good like Tyler Lockett, Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham Jr.
Overall, there are a ton of options that the Packers need to take to improve our wide receiver corps. If we don’t then I highly doubt we will be able to make a genuine run for the Super Bowl. However, Packers fans need to relax and trust Brian Gutekunst and the rest of the front office. They have done a pretty good job in creating a competitive team and with a weaker NFC now is the chance for us to actually win a Lombardi Trophy.