How Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams transitions to life in the NFL without Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback is an intriguing storyline heading into the 2022 season.
Green Bay’s former QB-WR duo was one of historic proportions, with Adams leading the league in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns the last five seasons combined. That extraordinary production led to Adams becoming the highest-paid WR in NFL history this offseason, but getting paid accordingly came at the cost of his memorable connection with Rodgers coming to an end.
As Adams enters his next chapter with the Raiders in 2022, legendary Packers QB Brett Favre is expecting a drop-off in his production based solely off him needing to adjust to a new quarterback.
“No disrespect to Davante at all — zero disrespect. I do think that Davante will make Derek Carr better and, in time, they will be a dynamic duo. Now will it be the duo that Aaron and Davante had? Time will tell, Favre told TMZ Sports on Saturday. “I think Derek Carr is a very good quarterback, but he’s not in Aaron’s league yet. He may never be, and that’s no disrespect either, but I do think that Davante owes a great deal of gratitude to Aaron and the Packers drafting him.
“That’s not to say he’s not a great player because he is a tremendous player and we’ll see that with Las Vegas. But it’s just hard to shift gears, especially from a player as prolific as Aaron Rodgers. I’d be shocked if he had the same year he’s had this year. That’s not to say he can’t do it, but I would be shocked.”
Simply put, the Rodgers-Adams connection was special. Over the course of eight seasons together, the duo progressed into one of the surest hookups in the NFL. Rodgers’ back-shoulder fade pass to Adams was as harmonious as it gets as the pair seemingly knew what either was doing at all times, especially when a designed play broke down into a frenzy. Adams’ career as a Packer ends with him second all-time in receptions (669) and receiving touchdowns (73), and fourth all-time in receiving yards (8,121) in the franchise’s rich history.
Adams enters 2022 with not only a new QB in Derek Carr but an entirely new offensive system under new head coach Josh McDaniels. However, his new circumstances in Las Vegas aren’t all that foreign considering Carr and Adams played two full seasons together at Fresno State. The Carr-Adams connection produced 3,031 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns off 233 receptions in 36 games played for the Bulldogs. Both entered the NFL as second-round draft picks in 2014.
While Carr put up single-season career-highs in yards (4,804) and completions (428) in 2021, Adams is coming off a career-best 123 receptions for 1,553 yards (11 TDs) in what was his second straight All-Pro season (fifth straight Pro Bowl bid). With both veterans in the midst of their primes, figuring out why the Raiders invested so heavily in Adams isn’t all that hard to understand.
As for how Rodgers goes forward without a dynamic receiver like Adams, Favre is confident the four-time MVP will find a way to maintain success as the Packers look to capture their fourth straight NFC North title in 2022.
“They’ll be okay,” Favre said. “It’s hard to replace a great player like Davante Adams. It’s hard to replace Aaron Rodgers. You don’t replace those players. You plug someone and hope that the others take up the slack until that person finds their own way. Aaron’s too good . Much like Tom Brady has gone into every season and manage to systematically tear teams apart with whoever — It doesn’t matter. And that will be the case with Aaron.”