Davante Adams has been the Packers' most productive, dangerous wideout this season, and now he has the contract to prove it.
The Packers signed Adams to an extension reportedly worth $58 million over four seasons ($32 million over the first two years), putting the 25-year-old in the same salary neighborhood alongside Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant and amongst the league's highest-paid wideouts.
The new deal prevents Adams from potentially hitting the open market this spring, when he likely would've been the top wideout available after continuing to ascend despite catching passes from Brett Hundley.
Adams, whom the Packers selected in the second round in 2014, struggled in his first two seasons, totaling 83-928-4 receiving. Since 2015, though, he's made immense strides, averaging 74-941-11. Adams has developed into a big-time perimeter playmaker and scoring threat, a fact not lost on the Packers and defenses, which this season have often assigned their top corner to cover Adams, not declining Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
Adams suffered a pair of frightening concussions this season on illegal hits, the latest of which came in Week 15 and could end his season. But it's the only real knock on him over the past two years, when his growth has been roundly praised by coaches and teammates, and Adams proved he can do damage at all parts of the field, not just be an intermediate threat.
The status of Nelson and Cobb immediately comes into question with Adams' new deal. PFW reported last week that Nelson, with a cap charge in excess of $12 million in 2018 and rapidly declining production this season, could be asked to take a paycut in the offseason. He turns 33 in the spring, and unlike Adams, was unable to adjust to the Packers' change at quarterback from Aaron Rodgers to Hundley.
Cobb has a similar contract to Nelson's, set to expire after next season, but the slot receiver and punt returner is five years younger and arguably has the versatility to wear more hats in the Packers offense and on special teams — though Cobb hasn't shown the explosiveness the past two seasons that helped him earn his current deal.
Indeed, Ted Thompson faces a lot of tricky decisions after his Packers failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons. There may even be a surprising shakeup or two, but the Packers' largest order of business is officially handled. It removes any questions — if they still existed — regarding who's likely to be Rodgers' top target in the years ahead.