Davante Adams thinks the New York Jets have competition for Aaron Rodgers
The Las Vegas Raiders were widely considered to be one of the strongest favorites to land Tom Brady if he decided to play football in 2023. Now that Brady has retired, the Raiders might be shifting their focus toward another future Hall of Fame quarterback: Aaron Rodgers.
The Raiders’ best player (who doubles as Rodgers’ former No. 1 receiver) is already on the recruitment trail. New York Jets fans are probably a little worried about what he tweeted last night.
On Thursday morning (or Wednesday night, depending on your time zone), Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams stirred the pot with his interesting response to a question about Rodgers on Twitter.
Adams was asked, “Which neighborhood is [Rodgers] moving to?”, and he replied, “Mine.”
— Davante Adams (@tae15adams) February 2, 2023
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Adams played with Rodgers in Green Bay for eight years, catching 669 passes for 8,121 yards and 73 touchdowns. He was traded to Las Vegas in 2022 and didn’t miss a beat without Rodgers throwing him the ball, as he still caught 100 passes for 1,516 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns.
Rodgers missed Adams far more than Adams missed Rodgers. In his first year without Adams, Rodgers had arguably the worst statistical season of his career, posting a 91.1 passer rating that stands as the lowest mark among his 15 seasons as a starter. Rodgers also threw for a career-low 217.4 passing yards per game. Without Adams, Rodgers became much less explosive as a passer, averaging a career-low 10.6 yards per completion.
The Raiders are in a good financial position to land Rodgers. They currently rank ninth-best in the NFL with $18.4 million in projected cap space, per Spotrac. That number will rise to about $47.7 million once Derek Carr is released or traded, which would currently rank third-highest in the NFL. Affording the four-time MVP should be no problem for Las Vegas. This is a big advantage over the Jets, whose cap situation is much less favorable.
The bigger question is whether Rodgers would want to be a Raider.
If Rodgers leaves Green Bay, it will be because he does not want to participate in the Packers’ rebuild and would prefer to find a better place to compete for a championship before he retires.
The Raiders’ roster does not appear close to championship-ready. In 2022, Las Vegas’ defense ranked 31st in DVOA (per Football Outsiders) and Las Vegas’ offensive line ranked 27th in pass-blocking efficiency (per Pro Football Focus).
Plus, with Derek Carr under center, it’s not as if the Raiders had a bad quarterback and were being held back by that position. Yes, Rodgers would be an upgrade over Carr (how much of an upgrade depends on whether you get 2022 Rodgers or 2020-21 Rodgers), but the quarterback spot was not one of the Raiders’ biggest problems. Even with an elite quarterback, the Raiders would still have a plethora of issues holding them back from title contention.
You also have to be in Patrick Mahomes’ division.
The Jets offer a much more appealing situation for Rodgers to walk in and believe he has a legitimate chance of winning the Super Bowl. New York’s defense ranked fifth-best in DVOA, and despite missing key starters for most of the year, the Jets’ offensive line was still more competent than the Raiders’, placing 22nd in pass-blocking efficiency. It could be a solid unit if everyone stays healthy and the Jets supplement it with a big addition or two this offseason.
Contrary to the Raiders, the quarterback position was the Jets’ greatest issue in 2022. New York received arguably the worst quarterback production of any team in the league, holding back a team that played great defense and had solid weapons. No team in the NFL fits the classic “just a quarterback away” mantra more closely than the Jets do. You can easily picture the Jets being a contender simply by inserting a competent quarterback, let alone a guy on Rodgers’ level. The same cannot be said about the Raiders.
Both teams offer familiarity for Rodgers. Las Vegas can give him Adams, the man who led the Packers in receiving yards for five straight seasons. New York can give him Nathaniel Hackett, the offensive coordinator who guided him to the best production of his career.
Eventually, we will see which of these two situations Rodgers prefers – that is, if he even does choose one of them. It’s still entirely possible Rodgers could return to Green Bay, retire, or go to a team that has been seldom discussed as a potential suitor.
Right now, though, Jets and Raiders fans are the most heavily invested people in the Rodgers sweepstakes, going head-to-head as they argue over who offers a better landing spot for A-Rod.
I think the question is how would the Jets afford Rodgers? I have tried crunching numbers and it never seems to come close to what Rodgers salary is. Garoppolo seems to be more affordable than Rodgers or Carr. I’m thinking Garoppolo, White, Wilson in 2023.