Davante Adams is rumored to be seeking a game-changing contract number
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams is set to become the most sought-after NFL free agent on the open market once the legal tampering period window opens on March 14.
If a recent rumor is to be believed, Adams may scare some potential suitors away with the number he is seeking in his new deal.
Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline reports that “Adams wants to be the highest-paid receiver in the NFL and will be looking for a contract near $30 million per year.”
That would be the richest contract in history for a wide receiver in terms of average annual value. Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins holds the current record with his two-year extension worth $27.25 million per year.
The New York Jets need help at the wide receiver position and will likely consider entering the Adams sweepstakes. But should they halt their pursuit if Adams will cost $30 million per year?
Looking at what Davante Adams brings to the table
The Jets will have enough cap room (projected $46.8 million, per Over The Cap) to add Adams on a hefty contract and still be able to comfortably maneuver through the offseason. They’d just have to limit themselves to low-cost signings while building the rest of their roster.
Knowing they have the breathing room to add Adams and maintain a manageable cap situation, perhaps going all-out for him is worth it.
There is nothing more important for the Jets this offseason than supplementing the development of Zach Wilson – and there is arguably no player out there who would do a better job of accomplishing that goal than Adams.
Adams has been the most consistently dominant wideout in the NFL for the last four years. He has averaged over 83 yards per game in four consecutive seasons and over 97 yards per game in each of the last two.
Over the past four seasons, Adams leads the NFL in receptions (432), receiving yards (5,310), and receiving touchdowns (49). Accumulating those numbers in 57 games, Adams has averaged 129 catches, 1,584 yards, and 14 touchdowns per 17 games since 2018.
His raw box-score stats are amazing, but what really stands out about Adams is how reliable he is. He almost never lets his quarterback down.
Adams has only five drops over the past two seasons, per Pro Football Focus. He made 238 catches over the same span, giving him a drop rate of 2.1%.
Imagine how helpful it would be for Wilson to have a receiver like that.
The case against New York pursuing Adams at the cost of $30 million
Let’s be real here – there is no way the Jets should consider adding Adams at $30 million per year (in my opinion).
Adams is going to turn 30 years old in December of this year. It is extremely risky to invest heavily in a player who is likely heading for a decline soon.
We also must consider the Aaron Rodgers effect. There is more evidence that Rodgers lifted Adams up than vice versa.
Over the past three seasons, the Packers are 7-0 when Adams doesn’t play. They averaged 31.6 points in those games, which is much greater than the 26.5 points that they averaged with him over the same span.
Green Bay didn’t just beat up on bad teams to get those wins. The Packers picked up road victories over the 2019 Chiefs, 2020 Saints, and 2021 Cardinals without Adams.
Rodgers threw for 17 touchdowns, one interception, and 8.6 yards per attempt in those seven games without Adams. He threw for 94 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and 7.6 yards per attempt in 41 games with Adams over that span.
So, not only is Adams heading for the wrong side of 30, but there are a lot of warning signs that he was a beneficiary of Rodgers and will not be nearly as dominant without the legendary quarterback.
None of this is to say Adams will not remain a star with his new team. He will still be great – anybody with eyes who watches his play on the field can see that he has star-caliber route-running and hands – it just seems unlikely that he will maintain his current otherworldly production level, which would be necessary for him to be worth $30 million a year.
From the Jets’ perspective, they have way too many holes to invest such a large chunk of their cap space into one player. They’re not a “one player away” kind of team by any stretch of the imagination.
If your team has a contention-ready roster and money to blow but can still improve the supporting cast around the quarterback, then go for it – put all of your chips in the middle of the table and make a run for the Super Bowl with Adams. The Los Angeles Chargers (who have $58.6 million in projected space) come to mind.
New York isn’t in that position yet.
There will be other avenues for the Jets to improve Wilson’s supporting cast in a major way without strapping themselves to a gargantuan contract.
If this rumor turns out to be false and Adams actually demands a contract that is closer to the $25.8 million per year he is projected to earn by Spotrac, then the Jets can maybe start thinking about making a chase. Paying $30 million per year for a 30-year-old receiver is too outlandish of a proposition for a rebuilding team to consider.