Davante Adams trade to San Francisco 49ers?
By: Will Baptist
The Green Bay Packers could potentially be on the cusp of a complete overhaul of their roster. The Aaron Rodgers saga is far from over, but his departure seems inevitable. If Rodgers is traded, and Jordan Love plays poorly, then the premier Packers players could be looking to take their talents elsewhere.
The player at the top of the list would be star WR Davante Adams. Adams is arguably the best receiver in the NFL, and unquestionably one of the best route runners. Ever since 2016, Adams and Rodgers have been a lethal combination. In those five seasons, 52 out of the 58 touchdown receptions that Adams has caught, have been thrown by Rodgers. If Rodgers refuses to budge from his trade request, the season could be a disaster for Green Bay, and Adams could follow suite and request a trade.
Adams is in the final year of his contract and will become a free agent after the season if he doesn’t agree to an extension with the Packers. Considering his 2020 campaign, where he caught 115 passes for 1,374 yards, and a league-leading 18 touchdowns, the market would be astronomical for a playmaker of his status. Even if his numbers take a dip if Love is under center, that would likely not deter any teams from recognizing the talent he is.
The San Francisco 49ers could be the perfect fit for Adams, and that move could propel them to Super Bowl favorites in the NFC. Adams is from Palo Alto, California, which is only about a 45-minute drive from San Francisco. This could be an exciting proposition for Adams if he wants to play elsewhere.
How likely is a trade?
The 49ers would have to be proactive in trying to acquire Adams, because more than half of the NFL should be attempting to trade for him. A trade is obviously contingent on Adams requesting it, because there is no chance the Packers would willing part from their only productive receiver.
His contract status makes a trade somewhat tricky because he would have to agree to an extension with the team that acquires him since he is on a contract year. No team would trade valuable draft capital for a one-year rental of Adams. The Packers would be wise to move him if he does want out, considering they would lose him for nothing in the offseason if he clearly wants out of Green Bay. They could franchise tag him after the season, but Adams could decline to play on the franchise tag next season and decide to sit out.
If the Packers are blown away by a trade offer, and it seems Love is not ready or not talented enough to lead this franchise, then the Packers should not hesitate to move Adams. The 49ers should be the first team calling the Packers regarding an Adams trade. They have an extremely talented roster, and they drafted their QB of the future in Trey Lance, who is currently the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers are in prime position to blow the Packers away because they likely feel they are very close to getting back to the Super Bowl.
It is unclear what exactly the market is for Adams, but the Julio Jones trade gives some clarity. Jones and a sixth-round pick were traded to the Titans for a second and fourth-round pick to Atlanta. Adams would command slightly more capital because his production, age and health are all slightly better than Jones. It could take a first and fourth-round pick to acquire Adams, but the 49ers should pull the trigger if that is the asking price. A trade will become more likely if the Packers struggle to begin the season, but before the season starts, Adams will not be going anywhere.
How does Adams fit with the 49ers?
The 49ers have two very talented and young receivers on the roster, in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. Outside of those two, they are thin at WR, and severly lack experience. As gifted as Samuel and Aiyuk are, they have played in a combined 34 games, catching a total of 150 passes, 1,941 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns.
Adams is 28 years old and has played in 10 playoff games thus far. His experience and talents could be a huge boost in the development of Samuel and Aiyuk. He has already amassed 546 catches, 6,568 receiving yards, and 62 touchdowns in his career, and he is not slowing down anytime soon. He is another veteran presence in a locker room with lots of talented young players.
The 49ers also have one of the best tight ends in the NFL, in George Kittle. If the 49ers landed Adams, Samuel or Aiyuk can play in the slot, while Kittle is torching opposing defenses in the middle of the field. This could become one of the best offenses in the NFL overnight just by Adams walking through the door.
The fit is undeniable, and the only real question mark would be Garoppolo. He has had a lackluster tenure with the 49ers, but they have still been able to win lots of games with him and even went to the Super Bowl in 2019 with him under center. He has struggled mightily to stay healthy, and shown an inconsistency to throw the ball down the field. In his 31 games with the 49ers, he has just 51 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. Garoppolo could be a concern for Adams if he is eyeing the 49ers.
If Garoppolo fell short and didn’t live up to Kyle Shanahan’s expectations, they could turn to Lance, which could be more enticing for Adams. Shanahan is one of the best play-callers in the league, and with how great their run game is, defenses would almost be helpless in trying to slow down this offense.
The sky would be the limit, and they would be instant contenders with Adams in the building. If they are unable to trade for him due to the Packers being reluctant to give him up, they should be the first team vying for him in free agency after the season.