It sounds like most of the Packers were blindsided by the team’s 2020 NFL Draft drama.
Star wide receiver Davante Adams says that he and his teammates were expecting general manager Brian Gutekunst to add depth at his position in light of the highly talented draft class, not another quarterback.
“So, them bringing in a rookie quarterback. I mean, extremely solid quarterback. …You know we were all expecting, it’s no secret — we were all expecting to have a receiver drafted, but that wasn’t the case,” Adams told reporters on Tuesday.
Instead, the Packers went all seven rounds without laying claim to a receiver and most notably, traded up four spots in the first round to draft polarizing Utah State gunslinger Jordan Love. The move was vexing, especially with two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers locked in for at least the next two years and in light of more pressing needs elsewhere.
Rodgers carries a 2020 dead cap hit of $51.15 million, which drops to $31.56 million in 2021, then $17.2 million in 2022 and $2.85 million in 2023, according to Over The Cap, making the prospect of a trade in the first two years of Love’s career financially untenable.
The team’s most glaring gap is the lack of a clear No. 2 pass-catcher behind Adams, an area hardly addressed by adding Devin Funchess (one of the 2020 NFL opt-outs) during free agency.
“We don’t necessarily need – like I don’t care if they brought in Julio Jones in here – that’s not gonna necessarily make me work harder, because I’m already a workhorse, and I already know that I’m trying to be better than I was last year,” Adams said.
Six receivers were already off the board by that point, but Clemson’s Tee Higgins and USC’s Michael Pittman Jr. were still available. Higgins and Pittman were drafted with the first two picks of the second round.
Love’s negative impact on Rodgers is two-fold: The 36-year-old’s passing stats will suffer without the addition of a new target, and rostering a young successor puts the aging QB on the clock, the culmination of which is expected to sow discord.
Some have speculated that the move had pernicious motives, but Adams remains very optimistic of the situation in spite of Rodgers admitting he wasn’t exactly chuffed by the sudden competition.
“I don’t think that it’ll have any type of affect (sic) on him,” he said. “I don’t think it’s gonna drive him to be a better player or have him sunk in a hole. I think Aaron’s a lot like me, I’m a lot like him, however you wanna put it. Truly confident players who know what they’re capable of, and know what they’ve done, and that continue to work to be better than what they were.”
“So, Aaron’s gonna come in ballin’ and do his thing and he’s got the right mindset. … My perception of it is that he’s just gonna be Aaron. I saw something, which means absolutely nothing, but I saw something that said that the last couple of times he was named outside of the top 10 of the top 100, that he won MVP. So we can’t rule it out. It’s happened before twice. So, we’ll see.”
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