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Packers' Aaron Rodgers Has Even 'Deeper Appreciation' for Davante Adams After Trade

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2022

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 04: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 04, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers said Monday that his admiration for his former teammate, wideout Davante Adams, has only grown since his trade to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason.

"Him and I have stayed really close, and still talk all the time," Rodgers told Serge Ibaka on How Hungry Are You? (9:40 mark). "People think, 'Oh, you must not like Davante, he's on another team.' And I'm like, 'I love him even more!' Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I have an even deeper love and appreciation for him now that he's gone."

In March, the Packers traded Adams to the Raiders for the Nos. 22 and 53 picks in the 2022 NFL draft. Adams promptly signed a five-year, $140 million contract extension with Las Vegas.

Rodgers told Ibaka that he thought his own uncertain future in Green Bay may have played a role in Adams' decision to seek a trade.

"A lot of it was his desire to have a new start, a fresh start," he said. "There was an unknown with my future and how long I was going to be here. And I think he loved playing with me and maybe didn't want to necessarily get locked into a long-term deal here if I wasn't going to be in the long-term plans of the team. Or, in my own mind. But I think ultimately, it was just time. Time for a new challenge for him, new opportunity."

Adams, 29, has fared quite well in his new digs, catching 86 passes for 1,275 yards and 12 touchdowns. The adjustment from Rodgers to Derek Carr hasn't slowed him down.

Rodgers, on the other hand, has had one of his poorer seasons in recent memory, throwing for 2,864 yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing just 64.3 percent of his passes.

There's little doubt that the loss of Adams, and a mediocre receiving corps in general, has played a part in the two-time defending MVP's down season. A broken thumb on his throwing hand, which has been an issue since Week 5, has undoubtedly played a part as well.

Offenses don't get better after losing a player of Adams' caliber. But Rodgers seemed genuinely happy to see his former teammate having success in Las Vegas.