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Packers set to trade Davante Adams to the Raiders

Receiver Davante Adams is being traded from the Packers to the Raiders. (Duane Burleson/AP)

The Green Bay Packers have quarterback Aaron Rodgers back in the fold. But Rodgers won’t be keeping his favorite receiver, as the Packers have tentatively agreed to trade wideout Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Raiders are sending first- and second-round draft choices to the Packers in the blockbuster deal, a person familiar with the trade terms confirmed Thursday night. The deal was basically in place and, barring any last-minute snags, was expected to be completed, according to that person.

The teams did not immediately announce the trade. But Raiders quarterback Derek Carr sent his greetings to his new wide receiver on social media, writing to Adams on Twitter: “Welcome home.”

Adams and Carr were college teammates at Fresno State and have spoken of their close friendship.

Rodgers, the winner of the league’s past two MVP awards, announced last week that he would return to the Packers for the 2022 season rather than retiring or seeking a trade. He signed a revised contract with Green Bay this week by which he will make a little more than $150 million over the next three seasons, becoming the NFL’s first $50 million-per-season player.

But Rodgers previously had said that he did not want to be part of a rebuilding project in Green Bay after the Packers entered the last two postseasons as the NFC’s top seed but failed to reach the Super Bowl. The Packers had used their franchise-player tag on Adams to keep him off the unrestricted free agent market. Adams would have been paid $20.145 million for the 2022 season if he’d remained in Green Bay on the one-year franchise-player deal.

Adams reportedly had balked at playing for the Packers under the franchise deal. He is expected to sign a five-year, $141.25 million contract with the Raiders in conjunction with the trade, a person with knowledge of the matter confirmed after those terms first were reported by the NFL Network.

The Raiders have been busy under their new decision-making tandem of General Manager Dave Ziegler and Coach Josh McDaniels. They bolstered their defense by signing pass rusher Chandler Jones as a free agent and trading for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Now they’ve given Carr another top pass-catching target to go with tight end Darren Waller and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow.

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Adams had spent his entire eight-year NFL career with the Packers and was selected to the last five Pro Bowls. He had more than 110 catches and 1,300 receiving yards in three of the past four seasons. Adams had 123 catches for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.

The Rodgers-to-Adams combination has been one of the NFL’s most productive tandems. But the trade amounts to Adams choosing to play with Carr over Rodgers as his quarterback. The Packers reportedly were willing to give Adams a contract comparable to the one that he is signing with the Raiders. But Adams was intent upon leaving, according to multiple reports.

Unless Rodgers backtracks on his commitment to stay with the Packers, he is now faced with attempting to continue his success while playing with an overhauled group of receivers. Veteran wideout Randall Cobb accepted a pay cut to remain with the Packers. Allen Lazard is a restricted free agent and is likely to be retained. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is an unrestricted free agent.

But the Packers save more than $20 million in salary cap space with Adams’s exit. And they receive the 22nd and 53rd overall selections in this year’s NFL draft from the Raiders. It is a receiver-rich draft class if the Packers opt to replenish their wide receiver group that way. Alternatively, they could package their draft picks in a trade to add an accomplished veteran wideout.

Rodgers reportedly was made aware of tenor of the deliberations between the Packers and Adams before the trade was made.

Adams becomes the latest prominent NFL player to be traded since last week, joining quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz, wide receiver Amari Cooper and pass rusher Khalil Mack. The Raiders are trying to keep pace as their AFC West foes also fortify. The Denver Broncos dealt for Wilson. The Los Angeles Chargers traded for Mack and signed cornerback J.C. Jackson as a free agent. They’re all trying to catch the Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs.

The move represents a bit of a risk for the Raiders, making such a huge commitment to a wide receiver who turns 30 in December. But Adams has shown no on-field signs to this point of slowing down, and the Raiders are banking on his chemistry with Carr making an immediate difference. Ziegler and McDaniels have made clear upgrades to a team that reached the playoffs last season but lost in the opening round to the Cincinnati Bengals, the eventual AFC champions.

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