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Why Did Davante Adams Leave the Packers?

With Green Bay coming off a 13-win season and the best record in the NFC, Adams’ trade demand and subsequent move to the Las Vegas Raiders came as something of a shock. [1]

The reason Adams left the Packers seems to be that he preferred being closer to California where he grew up. He also wanted to play with his former teammate and current Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr. [2]

Money also factored into Adams’ decision. The Packers wanted Adams to play on a one-year deal, while the Raiders were happy to give him a new five-year contract. [3]

But with three weeks left in the 2022 season, it’s looking like neither Adams’ current or former club will be making the playoffs this year. [4]

With what the Raiders gave up to acquire Adams, and the Packers squandering one of Aaron Rodgers’ remaining years, it’s easy to ask if both teams now regret the trade.

Key Takeaways

  • Devante Adams requested a trade from the Packers when they clearly wanted him to play on a one-year deal. Adams was looking for a longer-term contract.
  • Adams also wanted to be closer to his home in California and play with his old college quarterback Derek Carr.
  • Adams was traded from the Packers to the Raiders for Las Vegas’ first and second-round picks in the 2022 NFL draft.

Quarterbacks and California

When a star player is traded, it’s easy to assume that he was unhappy in his current playing environment. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with Adams, who had the luxury of playing with Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Adams was far and away Rodgers’ favorite target, leading the team by a wide margin in targets with 169 his last year for the Packers. [5]


From all indications, Adams and Rodgers got along well, with Adams going out of his way to praise his former quarterback after he was traded and comparing him to Michael Jordan. [6]

But Adams was ready to play closer to his home in Redwood City, California, and Fresno State University where he went to college. [7]

As luck would have it, his former college quarterback and buddy Derek Carr plays for the Las Vegas Raiders. Adams must have decided that was close enough to home with the bonus of getting to play with his old friend. [8]

While I’m sure prior relationships and proximity to home played a role, I’m willing to bet the Raiders’ offering him a 5-year, 140 million-dollar contract played a significant role too. [9]

What Did the Packers Get in Return for Adams?

In return for Adams, the Packers received a first and second-round pick in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. While Adams had made it clear that he didn’t want to play while under contract for just one more season, the return for the All-Pro wide receiver still seemed low. [10]


Green Bay used the first-round pick on linebacker Quay Walker and packaged the Raiders’ second-round pick with their own to move up in the draft and select wide receiver Christian Watson with the 34th overall selection. [11]

It’s easy to rush to conclusions and try to declare a trade’s “winner” immediately, but returns have thus far been mixed for both teams. Let’s start with Watson since it’s easy to look at him as Adams’ “replacement.” After a slow start, Watson has emerged as a big play weapon for Green Bay, logging 9 touchdowns over five weeks in the middle of his rookie season. [12]

Anointing him as a future all-pro receiver on the level of Adams still seems unlikely, but it appears that Watson will at least be a contributing player.

Linebacker Quay Walker is a little harder to quantify but he’s started all but one game through week 15 of his rookie season recording more than 100 tackles. [13]

There’s more to a defensive player’s performance than the number of tackles he’s recorded, but he’s also drawn positive reviews from some fans and analysts like Pro Football Focus. [14]

Davante Adams has also had a fine statistical season with 1275 yards receiving while tying for the league lead in touchdowns through week 15 with 12. [15]

Despite another good year from Adams and solid performances from Walker and Watson, both teams have struggled this year posting records below 500 and their playoff odds currently sit at less than 10%.

Of course, neither team will admit that they regret making the trade, but both fan bases have to be disappointed with their team’s performance thus far. Packer fans can at least take consolation in the fact that it appears they have two solid young players for the next several years. But it’s unclear how much longer Adams can keep up this kind of performance as he enters his 30s.



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