Signing Pro Bowl wide receiver Davante Adams to a contract extension is reportedly a "priority" for the Green Bay Packers ahead of the 2021 NFL season.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday on SportsCenter that Adams, who's entering the final season of a four-year, $58 million contract, is expected to get a "massive" new deal:
"Davante Adams and the Packers are expected to try to come to an agreement on a massive contract extension. He will likely be the highest-paid receiver in the league at some point. Most evaluators I talk to believe he is the very best at that position right now. So, he's a priority for the Packers, whether Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback or Jordan Love. The problem is Rodgers' contract has been an albatross for that team, it's hindered them from doing some other contracts and things they want to do with the team-building standpoint. So, they've got to shake that out first. They're willing to give Rodgers probably whatever he wants right now."
Most of the focus around the Packers throughout the offseason has surrounded Rodgers' future. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in April the quarterback "told some within the organization that he does not want to return to the team," and there's been a steady steam of reports about his unhappiness ever since.
Yet, trying to retain Adams is also a crucial element for Green Bay, especially if the organization ultimately goes through a high-profile QB change from Rodgers to Love.
The 28-year-old Fresno State product has earned four straight Pro Bowl selections dating back to 2017, and he was named a First Team All-Pro last year. He recorded 115 catches for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns across 14 appearances in 2020.
Last week, Adams told Bleacher Report's Graham Matthews he planned to play for the Packers this year regardless of the surrounding circumstances, including his need for a new contract, but he admitted the quarterback situation could play a role in his future plans.
"I'm not planning on going anywhere," Adams said. "That's only one piece of it, though. Obviously the quarterback situation helps it, but the stars got to align across the board as far as contractually. We'll figure all that stuff out and let it happen. I'll be at training camp like I said regardless, we're going to play the season, and we'll see how all of that pans out."
The California native added he's hopeful Rodgers stays with the Packers.
"Honestly, I'm not a gambling man, so it's tough to say what the chances are on that, but we're all just praying that he comes back," Adams told B/R. "That's my guy. His locker is always going to be there. I don't see him leaving, and I pray that he doesn't. We're all just going to stay in good spirits and just let the chips fall where they may."
Few things are more important in a young quarterback's development than having a true No. 1 receiver available. So whenever the transition from Rodgers to Love takes place, whether it's in the coming months or a year or two down the road, Adams' presence will be key.
As for the standout receiver's potential contract, he'll likely set the new standard for total value in a deal at the position. The current mark is held by the Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper at $100 million over five years followed by the New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas at $96.3 million over five years, according to Spotrac.
Adams, who's arguably the NFL's best route-runner, has a skill set that should age well and allow him to remain productive into his mid-30s, which lessens the risk associated with a potential long-term extension.