GREEN BAY – With his new contract signed and sealed, Packers receiver Davante Adams doesn’t sound like a player heading into the offseason celebrating his accomplishment.
He sounds like one with plenty of unfinished business.
“I get to continue to play four more years with the team that brought me in, took the first chance on me,” Adams said Tuesday morning, speaking to reporters for the first time since signing his new deal after being cleared from the concussion protocol, which forced him to sit out the season’s final two games.
“It’s a great feeling to finally get all that stuff out of the way and get to stick to football now and just do what I’ve got to do. Do what I was brought here to do.”
That’s help the Packers win another Super Bowl, as Adams has emerged over the last two seasons as a primary piece to Green Bay’s offense. He followed up his breakout 997-yard, 12-touchdown campaign in 2016 with 885 yards and 10 TDs in 14 games this past year, playing half the season without quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Adams’ production in Rodgers’ absence confirmed if not spiked his value to the team, and the Packers re-signed him before the 2014 second-round draft pick got too close to free agency, which begins in March.
Continuing his promising career in Green Bay was an easy call for Adams, even though he would have been one of the most sought-after receivers on the market this spring.
“When you look at the big picture, you look at who I get to play football with, I get to play with Aaron Rodgers, I get to sit here with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb helping me out,” he said. “They’ve been through it. To have them in my corner, it just makes everything a lot smoother.”
Whether that trio will stay together now remains to be seen, though. All three have contracts that pay them as elite receivers, and there are salary-cap implications the Packers will have to consider moving forward.
Adams acknowledged that reality but is hoping the receiving corps’ top three will remain intact.
“I hope my brothers are here with me,” he said. “I hope we all get to continue our success here in Green Bay. It is a business, and we’ll see what happens. I can’t tell you the chances and all that, but I hope they are here.
“I think with us three, there’s few in the game that can match what we bring to the table. It’ll be great to continue that next year, and hopefully that’s the way it is.”
Adams missed out on what was almost certain to be his first 1,000-yard season when an illegal blindside block from Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis in Week 15 gave him his second concussion of the season and third over the last two seasons.
Back in September, he was carted off Lambeau Field after being hit by Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan over the middle.
After each concussion, he has recovered quickly, and he indicated sitting out the final two games this season was precautionary given his history. He has no overriding worries about his health long-term and said he’s “100 percent fine.”
“Yeah, (they were) real, real ugly hits,” he said. “This last one, it’s tough because everybody saw how it looked, and I think people overreacted a little bit with some of it.
“It’s not like I’m falling and hitting my head and having concussions. There’s people out there doing malicious things to take me off the field. When it happens twice, it kind of gets to you a little bit and you just want to be a safe and take precaution and make sure you’re not damaging yourself long-term.”
As for his feelings about Davis’ apology and whether he’ll ever talk to him about it, Adams said, “It doesn’t matter. This ship has sailed.”
He said it would help if the NFL instituted an in-game review of hits like the ones he’s taken for disciplinary purposes, but he doesn’t believe the hits will ever be fully removed from the game.
He’ll let the league handle that while he charges ahead to live up to the demands that come with the contract he signed. He’s aware what it all means and he embraces the challenge.
“The big thing is continued success, and I think that’s what separates people,” he said. “You can get paid, but what are you going to do after that?
“It puts a lot of responsibility on me, but it’s something that I’m ready for, and I think I’ve been showing that with the way I’ve been playing the past two years. I’m 100 percent ready for what comes with it and definitely ready to take on a bigger role in this offense and do whatever it is to be a leader for this team.”