Most Likely Destinations for All-Pro WR Davante Adams in 2022

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJuly 26, 2021

Most Likely Destinations for All-Pro WR Davante Adams in 2022

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    As if Green Bay Packers fans didn't have enough to stress about. 

    On Friday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that contract extension talks between the Packers and All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams have "broken off," with "no current plans to resume them."

    "The two sides have been negotiating for months, but they are now in a bad place," a source told Rapoport, who added that "the proposals have not acknowledged Adams as the highest-paid WR."

    So it's looking increasingly likely that the four-time Pro Bowler will hit the open market as a 29-year-old in 2022, regardless of whether Aaron Rodgers is still quarterbacking the Packers (although his presence might help keep Adams on board). 

    Editor's Note: On Monday, July 26, it was reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter that Adams is "willing to listen to any contract discussions the team would like to have, per sources." This comes on the heels of the latest Rodgers report from Schefter that the Packers and Rodgers are "close to an agreement ... for at least this season. Deal is not done but it is close."

    With that in mind, let's look ahead at half a dozen teams that would be particularly well-positioned to make a run at Adams next March if he doesn't sign a long-term deal. 

Las Vegas Raiders

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    Not too long after Adams suggested earlier this offseason that his future with the Packers could be cloudy if Rodgers doesn't remain in Green Bay, he also said "it would be a dream" to play with college teammate Derek Carr. 

    Carr happens to be the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders

    "Davante, he's one of my best friends," Carr said recently on Cris Collinsworth's podcast, per ProFootballTalk. "I'm gonna offer him whatever I gotta offer. I'll buy him a car, whatever I've got to do I'll offer that man. I know he would fit in great with the receivers we have here. He would fit so well in that room. I'm allowed to say those things. Our organization isn't, but I'm going to say it. He's my best friend, I think he's one of the best—he's the best receiver in the NFL."

    But Carr didn't stop there.

    "He's focused on being a Packer and I know that because I see how he works," the 30-year-old three-time Pro Bowler added. "I know how he works and I know how much it means to him. He's focused on that and I'm focused on trying to get to the Super Bowl, win the Super Bowl, hopefully he's in it so I can beat his butt too. That's the plan, then recruit him over to the dark side."

    Beautifully put. And while his team does hope 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs III can become special, that's still to be determined, and Adams and Ruggs are very different players anyway. 

    Per Spotrac, the Raiders are on track to enter the 2022 offseason with roughly $49 million in salary-cap space, ranking eighth in the NFL in that metric. So it should be no surprise they lead this list. 

Chicago Bears

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    When they traded up for Justin Fields in the first round of April's draft, the Chicago Bears signaled that they're getting pretty desperate to make something work with the current regime. The reality is general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy must be running low on time. 

    But because Fields is a rookie who might not even start Week 1, 2022 is more likely to be that group's make-or-break year than 2021. And now, top Bears receiver Allen Robinson is destined to hit the open market next March after he and the team failed to come to terms on a long-term deal by the July 15 deadline to sign franchise-tag recipients. 

    Replacing Robinson with a familiar star from the same division would be a pretty boss move from a front office that has become increasingly bold. And with approximately $37 million in projected salary-cap space, it's a move they could probably afford to make. 

New England Patriots

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    Top 2019 draft pick N'Keal Harry hasn't panned out for a New England Patriots team that seems to be unable to draft wide receivers. But Bill Belichick and Co. have clearly had more success with free agents at that position, and there's a good chance they'll continue to lack a WR1 come 2022. 

    It's possible Nelson Agholor will finally take off in a new setting, but nobody else on New England's receiver depth chart is even remotely in Adams' range.

    Meanwhile, Belichick indicated with an aggressive run through free agency that he's all-in on getting the Pats back into contention this year. And it's obvious that regardless of who quarterbacks that offense, they could use more weapons at their disposal. 

    With nearly $28 million in projected cap space, the Pats could have trouble in a bidding war. But Belichick is a force, and Adams might be enthusiastic about jumping to the most successful team of the modern era.

    It can't be ruled out. 

Los Angeles Chargers

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    The Los Angeles Chargers may be set at wide receiver with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but the former will turn 30 next offseason and the latter is entering a contract year. And while those two are very different receivers, I don't think anyone in L.A. would complain about the Bolts replacing Williams with Adams. 

    The Chargers made a strong effort to bolster reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert's pass protection this offseason. They're clearly oriented toward building around their young quarterback, and bringing in Adams could be the cherry on top in that regard. 

    They're also projected by Spotrac to possess a little more cap space than the Raiders at about $52 million, so a run at the high-priced Fresno State product is within the realm of possibility from that standpoint as well. 

Indianapolis Colts

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    It seems the Indianapolis Colts always lead the NFL in salary-cap space, which is arguably the main reason why they won't be favored to spend big on a player like Adams. That's not typically general manager Chris Ballard's approach. 

    That said, it's nice to have that financial freedom, and declining 31-year-old T.Y. Hilton is entering a walk year for the Colts. Third-year second-round pick Parris Campbell also hasn't stepped up yet at that position, and 2020 second-rounder Michael Pittman Jr. has a lot to prove. 

    If Indy is left with questions about all or most of those guys next offseason and Ballard sees the window closing, he could decide to break from character and give quarterback Carson Wentz the ultimate receiving weapon for 2022 and beyond. 

    He certainly has the means to win a bidding war for the superstar. 

Denver Broncos

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    Keep in mind we've already included the Raiders and Chargers here, and the AFC West arms race should be expected to gain steam as everybody tries to keep up with the juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs. That alone should make the Denver Broncos a candidate despite a fairly deep receiving corps. 

    Throw in that top wideout Courtland Sutton is scheduled to hit free agency next offseason and consider that it's entirely possible Rodgers will be quarterbacking Denver by then, and the Broncos have to be a candidate, especially with about $51 million in cap space for 2022. 

    Regardless of what happens with Sutton, the jury's still out on 2020 Broncos draft picks Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler at that position. And Denver is in pretty solid shape elsewhere. 

    The front office is quite obviously losing patience. Adams could be a final swing before the Broncos decide to make mass changes.