Somewhat lost amongst the drama surrounding MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this offseason, and particularly this past week, is the uncertain future of All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams with the team and the ongoing contract negotiations between the two parties. As he enters the last year of his contract on the back of an All-Pro season with 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns, Adams said while speaking to the media on Wednesday that he's "earned the right to be paid highest in the league" at his position.
"Yeah, no, that's not gonna happen," Adams said when asked whether he would take less money to play with quarterback Aaron Rodgers now that he is confirmed to play for the Packers this season. "You know, I don't want to. It's not about being a baby, but what other profession do you take less than what you have earned. That's not how it goes."
The current highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL is DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals at $27.5 million per year. Hopkins was paid handsomely by the Cardinals after the team traded a second and fourth-round pick as well as veteran running back David Johnson to the Houston Texans last offseason in exchange for the All-Pro receiver. Adams does not currently have the same leverage that Hopkins did a year ago and Green Bay is currently in a tricky spot with the salary cap, with other players who will demand large paydays soon as well such as All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander who is already one of the best in the NFL at his position at just 24-years old and entering his fourth season.
Regarding Adams' statement about wanting to be the highest-paid at his position, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst responded with the following while speaking to the media on Thursday:
It’s how you interpret what the highest receiver in the National Football League is getting paid. Certainly, I agree with him, he’s definitely worth that, we believe that as well, there just might be a difference between what we believe is the highest-paid receiver and what he might.
Adams has stated that he will not hold out over contract disputes, however.
The fans may see it different in certain ways, and I'm sure there's a lot of fans that see it the same way that myself, my family, my agent, and most of the league sees it. I'm not a baby, so I'm not I'm not going to not show up, and I'm not complaining about it. At the end of the day, I'm not poor right now, you know. I'll be OK to get through and go and try to win a Super Bowl again. And so that's my main focus now. I mean, the offseason was working out and trying to come to an agreement, but we weren't able to do that, so now it's kind of time to lock in.
Adams will turn 29 in December of this season, which should create hesitancy on Green Bay's side when it comes to giving him his desired money, despite the fact that Adams is widely regarded as the best receiver in the NFL currently.
Adams was drafted out of Fresno State by the Packers with the No. 53 overall pick in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In his seven seasons in the NFL, Adams has 536 passes for 6,568 receiving yards and 62 receiving touchdowns.
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