Davante Adams Says Aaron Rodgers Retirement Talk Helped Him Decide To Leave Green Bay

Usually, it’s about the money. Or the chase for a championship ring. Or maybe even the search for a better situation because of all the surrounding talent.

Usually when great NFL players leave teams or, in the case of receiver Davante Adams, force their way out, it’s because they’re searching for an upgrade — to their wallet or trophy case or something tangible that will make them better.

And yet, this NFL offseason, you have Adams as the anomaly.

Adams spent the last eight seasons becoming one of the NFL’s best wide receivers. Some would argue he is the league’s best.

And there’s good reason for that beyond, you know, the guy is really good and really gifted. He played for one of the NFL best organizations in Green Bay, on one of the league’s most prolific offenses, with perhaps the best quarterback in the game.

Adams had it all. And yet, a couple of months ago, he forced his way off the Packers. He forced Green Bay to trade him to the Las Vegas Raiders.

And he did this without really considering getting the most money for the move. Because Adams, sure enough, signed a five-year, $141.25 million contract with the Raiders.

But he turned down more money from the Packers.

“Yeah, I’ll say, it was true, OK?” Adams told reporters Thursday afternoon. “It was true. But there’s much more that goes into it. And family is a big part of it for me. So, geographically being here, it makes it a lot easier for me to stay connected to my family year-round.

“And this isn’t Year Two [of his career], or I’m not trying to necessarily fight for a job or anything like that to where you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do — you’ve got to stay out there [in Green Bay]. I had the choice and the choice was for me to come here and raise my family on the West Coast and come out here and have some fun in the sun.”

So on its face it seems Adams left a great situation with a great team and playing with a great quarterback because he wanted to be closer to his family on the west coast.

That actually makes sense. But there’s more to it than geography.

There’s the Aaron Rodgers factor, which should be becoming more obviously problematic for the Packers.

Rodgers, you see, has spent a lot of time in recent years giving off vibes that he’s not long for the Packers. There was talk of discontentment with management in 2021. There was talk, much of it coming from him, of his possible retirement this offseason.

And Rodgers ultimately has remained with the Packers. But all that talk didn’t happen in a vacuum. Adams heard what Rodgers was saying and made his choice accordingly.

“We’ve talked multiple times,” Adams said. “We talked throughout the whole process, too, and he was aware of where I stood, and I was aware of where he stood. We had talks just like what he said the other day. He mentioned we had talks about his future and what he thinks his duration in Green Bay or just football in general would look like, and that played into my decision, as well.

“Because where I am in my career … I got aspirations of doing really, really big things and being remembered, and it just wasn’t really a point in my career that I was willing to sacrifice Aaron not being there after a year or two.”

Let this marinate for a moment because it seems Adams is saying he didn’t want to stay in Green Bay, at least in part, because he feared Rodgers would be gone after this year or the next.

Yes, yes, the family also factored but the question now becomes would Adams have pushed back against the moving closer to his family if Rodgers wasn’t squabbling with Packers in ’21 or thinking aloud about retirement this offseason?

It’s a fair question.

To the Raiders’ benefit, the question is moot because Adams has picked them and he’s so happy that he’s somehow convinced himself his new quarterback Derek Carr is more or less equal to his former quarterback who is a four-time MVP.

“As far as talent and ability, it’s really similar, if I’m keeping it real,” Adams said. “They throw the ball a lot different. Derek’s gonna fire it in there, and you’re going to know that thing’s coming quick. Aaron’s got the ability to tighten that core up and flick that ball to you. So the release is a lot different, but being able to get the ball to you late, if they see you coming out of a break, not many quarterbacks can get it to you before you get to the sideline if you’re outside the numbers already.

“Having two guys like that with really strong arms, and understanding the game, the mental part of it, is another similarity that they have. They both obsess over it and they know everything that’s going on out there.”

Nope, sorry. Not buying that part.

Carr may be a good quarterback but he’s not shown he’s “really similar” in talent and ability to Aaron Rodgers. Not yet, anyway.

Carr, on the other hand, doesn’t talk about retiring a lot. So he’s got Davante Adams and Rodgers doesn’t.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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