If Davante Adams had not already proved his worth to the Green Bay Packers, what he did without Aaron Rodgers solidified it.
In parts of seven games with Brett Hundley as his quarterback, Adams caught 46 passes for 543 yards and five touchdowns. In parts of seven games with Rodgers as his quarterback, he caught 28 passes for 342 yards and five touchdowns.
He was the Packers’ only receiver who managed consistent production after Rodgers broke his collarbone on Oct. 15.
It’s why last week coach Mike McCarthy, for the first time ever, proclaimed that Adams was the Packers’ “best perimeter player.” It was an unofficial moniker that previously belonged to Jordy Nelson.
The only issue with signing Adams to a four-year, $58.75 million contract on Friday was his concussion history. The 25-year-old suffered his third concussion in 14 months when Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis hit him with a blindside block on Dec. 17 at Carolina. Adams hasn’t played since, although it’s unclear if he could have played this week had the Packers not been eliminated from playoff consideration.
Adams returned without missing a game following his first two concussions, including the vicious hit he took earlier this year from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan.
Last week, it was suggested to Adams’ teammate, Randall Cobb, that Adams shouldn’t play another game until he got a new contract.
“OK, well you tell him that,” Cobb said. “I’ll let you tell him that.”
Either way, the Packers did right by Adams with this deal.
They could have had him for somewhere in the $9 million to $10 million per year neighborhood had they done a deal in August or September, but Adams’ price just kept going up during the season.
Who knows what Adams would have drawn had the Packers let him get to free agency in March, especially if teams felt comfortable with his concussion history.
The Packers clearly did, even though they need to look back only one year at the case of cornerback Sam Shields, whose career ended last season because of multiple concussions. Shields was older (age 29) when the Packers released him with one year left on a four-year, $39 million contract in February. Shields suffered a concussion in the 2016 season opener and never played again. It was the fourth known concussion of his NFL career.
Adams’ known concussion count is at three in his four NFL seasons. As long as it stays that way, the Packers should be glad they kept their best perimeter player.