After the 2015-2016 season, many Packers fans would have had a hard time believing that the Packers would give wide receiver Davante Adams a new contract when his rookie deal expires in March of 2018. With their top wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, lost to a season ending knee injury, the Packers were expecting Adams to climb into Nelson’s starting position and not see much of a drop off. Unfortunately, that didn’t occur. Adams battled his own injuries and finished the season with 50 catches for 483 yards and only one touchdown reception. It was a disappointment, not only for the Packers, but also for Adams. But 2016-2017 was a whole different story for Adams and has put him in a new light to the Packers front office who must decide if he worth re-signing.
Davante Adams 2017 Season Should Have Earned Him a New Contract From The Packers
Adams couldn’t have done it any better. After a poor 2015-2016 season, Adams bounced back in 2016-2017, and produced the way that he and the Packers had expected him to produce the prior season. Adams hauled in 75 catches for 997 yards and 12 touchdowns, all career bests for Adams. Adams numbers only took a backseat to one other Packers receiver. Nelson hauled in 97 passes for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdown catches. Nelson wasn’t quarterback Aaron Rodgers‘ number one option, but actually 1A, with Adams being 1B. Adams played so well, he overtook fellow wide receiver Randall Cobb as the second option in the Packers passing offense. Cobb finished the season with just 60 receptions for 610 yards and four touchdown receptions.
Staying healthy proved to be one of the biggest factors for Adams bounce back season. He played in all 16 regular season games for the Packers and looked like the ankle injury that effected his prior season was all healed up. Not only was Adams healthy, but he also looked stronger. Adams had struggled at times with getting off the line of scrimmage in his first two seasons, being vulnerable to bump and run coverage. During the offseason leading up to the 2016-2017 season, besides taking the time to get his ankle healthy, he spent time in the weight room and increased his upper body strength to overcome his issues with bump and run coverage. With his height at 6’1” and added muscle, Adams became a tough matchup for smaller opposing cornerbacks who were in charge of trying to stop him.
The numbers that Adams put up last season were impressive, but what makes it even more eye-popping is that Rodgers had Nelson, Adams, and Cobb all healthy last season but it was Nelson and Adams, not the usual Nelson and Cobb, who did the most damage for the receivers. The Packers used Nelson more in the slot last season and this allowed the bigger Adams to line up on the outside. At times, Nelson and Adams, two bigger wide receivers, lined up on the same side of the field, becoming a matchup nightmare for opposing coverages. With how well Nelson played in the slot last season, and Cobb taking a backseat to Nelson in his usual starting slot receiver position, there were rumblings that Cobb might be asked to take a pay cut and if he refused, possibly being let go. But that never happened and it appears that all three top receivers will be in camp for the Packers.
If Adams can duplicate or increase his production this season, re-signing him to a new deal will be a no-brainer. Adams will have to show that last season wasn’t just a fluke, but is actually something the Packers should expect for seasons to come. If Adams is able to prove that, he should expect his salary to be increased and increased by a lot. Packers general manager Ted Thompson has been criticized for drafting defensive linemen who didn’t pan out. But if Adams has another productive season, he will be another in a long line of wide receivers that Thompson has selected who’ve enjoyed successful careers.