GREEN BAY — Two weeks ago, Aaron Rodgers made a not-so-thinly veiled plea to general manager Ted Thompson about getting a new contract done with his No. 1 wide receiver, Davante Adams.
“Hopefully we pay him sooner rather than later,” the Green Bay Packers quarterback said on Dec. 12.
Does 17 days qualify as sooner?
Adams signed a new four-year deal with the Packers on Friday — one worth $58.75 million, including an $18 million signing bonus and $32 million in the first two years, according to ESPN and NFL Network reports.
“It was a stressful, stressful time but I’m glad we were able to get it done,” Adams said in a video posted to his personal iPhone app. “A lot of work, a lot of time we put into this thing, a lot of back-and-forth, but we got it done and (I) couldn’t be more excited to be in a better place.”
Adams, who turned 25 on Dec. 24, moved past veteran Jordy Nelson and became the Packers’ go-to receiver this season, leading the team in receptions (74), receiving yards (885) and touchdown receptions (10).
“I have no problem with it. I’m happy for Davante. He’s put a lot of work in and grown so much,” Nelson said earlier in the week when asked about Adams eclipsing him. “Again, you can’t get mad, because I was in that same situation six years ago or whatever with Greg (Jennings) and Donald (Driver). So I’m not mad at all. I’m happy for him, I’m happy with the way he’s developed, I’m happy with the way he’s grown as a football player, as a person, everything.”
On Friday morning, Packers coach Mike McCarthy ruled Adams out for Sunday’s season finale in Detroit because of the concussion he sustained Dec. 17.
By getting a deal done with Adams now, the Packers took care of their top free agent priority. Leading into March, they can focus on some of their other free agents-to-be, including center Corey Linsley, safety Morgan Burnett, tight end Richard Rodgers and guard Jahri Evans.
Asked last month about the uncertainty of not having an extension — and playing with backup quarterback Brett Hundley instead of Rodgers — Adams replied, “You just have to remove yourself from (thinking about the contract) and think about putting good film together. I can’t control how many (balls) or how the ball is coming to me, what routes it’s going to come to me on. Sometimes the game will dictate that or the coverage will dictate it. I just try to focus on the now and try to run my routes. People watch film, coaches watch film, they know what’s going on. Just do what I can out there and try not to think about it.”
Adams, Bakhtiari receive Mulhern Award
Packers wide receiver Davante Adams and veteran left tackle David Bakhtiari were honored as the recipients of the 2017 Tom Mulhern Stand-Up Guy Award, presented by the Green Bay chapter of the Professional Football Writers of America. The award is presented to the player or players voted to have shown “exemplary professionalism in helping pro football writers covering the Green Bay Packers do their jobs.”
“My mom is going to be really happy,” Bakhtiari said, smiling. “It just comes down to respect. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day the relationship between media and players, and whether there’s any rift at any point. We’re people. It’s good to act respectful.
“At the end of the day, offensive linemen, let’s call a spade a spade. I’m not an idiot. We’re not like the sexiest (guys) you want to talk to. So just being respectful.”
Because he remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol, Adams was not allowed by NFL rules to be interviewed after receiving the award.
The award is named for late Tom Mulhern, the former Wisconsin State Journal writer who covered the Packers (1986-1998) for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Milwaukee Sentinel and Appleton Post-Crescent and State Journal before covering University of Wisconsin football for the State Journal from 1999 through 2014. Mulhern died in October 2014 from complications caused by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease at age 56.
Last year, guard T.J. Lang and safety Micah Hyde were chosen for the award.
In addition to Adams, the Green Bay medical staff ruled five other players out for Sunday’s game: Nelson (shoulder); Evans (knee); running back Aaron Jones (knee); linebacker Nick Perry (ankle/shoulder) and tight end Richard Rodgers (shoulder).