It started with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein writing that wide receiver Davante Adams’ roster spot might not be secure. Soon that possibility was popping up all over the internet, thanks in large part to the many Packers blogs that simply regurgitate the opinions of others – no matter how unrealistic.
Adams isn’t going anywhere. While he obviously doesn’t have the job security of an Aaron Rodgers or a Clay Matthews, his roster spot is pretty darn safe. GM Ted Thompson isn’t going to give up on a player picked in the second round only 24 months ago, especially a 23-year-old player who’s caught 88 passes for over 900 yards in two seasons.
Nobody’s denying that Adams performed poorly last season. He averaged less than 11 yards per catch, didn’t get open nearly enough and dropped too many passes. But you can say pretty much the same thing about Randall Cobb, who played in the Pro Bowl following the ’14 season and who’s being paid $10 million a year.
Two other things Adams and Cobb had in common last season were nagging injuries and not having No. 1 receiver Jordy Nelson available to often attract the other team’s top cornerback and to always open up the middle of the field. These sound like excuses, but it’s very difficult to run on a bad ankle and it’s very difficult to catch with a bad shoulder. And it’s even tougher for possession receivers like Adams and Cobb to find soft spots in coverage when defenses aren’t afraid to play 11 men within 10 to 12 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Here’s something else to consider about Adams. Despite what coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers kept saying last spring, he’s simply not a special player. I wrote that over and over again during training camp. In reality, Adams has the skill set to be an excellent No. 3 receiver and maybe even a good No. 2. But because expectations were set so unreasonably high, his bad season seemed even worse.
Adams has ideal size (6’2, 210) and showed good hands in college and as a rookie, but he played small and couldn’t make a contested catch all of last season. To some, it seemed at times like he didn’t care, but I never bought into that line of thinking. He looked to me like a young player who had simply lost his confidence.
Pro football players are prideful people and few pro football players have taken more heat – much of it deserved – than Adams the past six or seven months. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t bounce back this season, but with Nelson, Cobb, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis, Jared Abbrederis and fifth-round draft pick Trevor Davis also on the roster, how much he’ll play is a legitimate question. Whether he’ll be on the team is not.