Fittingly, one of the last big dominoes to fall during the first week of free agency involved the Packers, the team that for the past year has been in the headlines more than any other team, largely because of their quarterback. On Thursday night, the team traded All-Pro receiver Davante Adams to Las Vegas in exchange for first and second-round picks in next month's draft. The trade is certainly a blow for Aaron Rodgers, who enjoyed a prolific partnership with Adams that dates back to 2014.
The Packers wouldn't have traded Adams without having a plan. Green Bay's brass is surely aware of the talented receivers who are still available in free agency. They are also in position to acquire a top receiving prospect in the draft with the picks they received in the trade for Adams.
Losing Adams is similar to when the Steelers lost Antonio Brown back in 2019. Pittsburgh never tried to duplicate what Brown brought to the team with one player. Instead, they selected receivers on Day 2 of the following two drafts (Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool) while signing a former free agent at tight end (Eric Ebron) in 2020. The moves did not result in a championship, but it did help Ben Roethlisberger enjoy another largely successful season in 2020 while the Steelers returned to the playoffs in 2020 and in '21. Green Bay is hoping to have even more success in the following years, as Rodgers is hoping to end his career with a second championship ring.
Let's take a look at the options the Packers have to replace Adams over the next few months.
Injuries have limited Jones to just 19 games over the past two years. Over that span, the seven-time Pro Bowler caught 82 passes for 1,205 yards and four touchdowns. While age is starting to become a factor (he turned 33 in February), Jones is still a very capable player who (when healthy) can still contribute to an offense. He may not longer be a No. 1 option, but his presence undoubtedly makes an offense better.
Recently released by the Browns, Landry is a five-time Pro Bowler who has made a career out of being a dependable possession receiver. While injuries slowed him down in 2021, Landry has displayed remarkable durability throughout the course of his career; he didn't miss a single game due to injury during his first seven seasons. Landry also has exceptional leadership traits that in recent years helped the Browns go from an 0-16 team a year before his arrival to a playoff team during his third season in Cleveland.
A Pro Bowler each year from 2014-17, Hilton has been hampered by injuries over the past several years. Despite injuries and changes at quarterback in Indianapolis, Hilton has been able to maintain some level of production and consistency; he has caught at least five touchdowns in all but two of his 10 seasons and has averaged over 13 yards per catch in all but one season.
Injuries limited the 27-year-old receiver to just two games last season, his only year with the Dolphins. In 2020, Fuller caught eight touchdowns for the Texans while averaging 16.6 yards per catch. Fuller is a big-play receiver who could help stretch the field for Rodgers and Green Bay's offense.
With Allen Robinson headed to Los Angeles, the Rams may be open to trading Woods for the right price. While he has never made a Pro Bowl, the soon-to-be 30-year-old wideout has enjoyed a highly successful run with the Rams. He caught 266 passes from 2018-2020 while helping Los Angeles reach the Super Bowl at the end of the 2018 season.
Cooks has been a largely overlooked player during his eight-year career. He's gone over 1,000 receiving yards six times and has caught 573 passes and 46 touchdowns while playing for four different franchises. He's still on the right side of 30 (28), which only adds to his value.
The former Alabama standout may be available when the Packers (who have four of the first 60 picks in the draft) are on the clock with the 22nd overall pick. Last fall, the former Alabama standout caught 79 passes for 1,572 yards and 15 touchdowns. He caught seven passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in Alabama's win over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
Olave's 35 touchdown catches at Ohio State is the most in program history. He caught 12 touchdown passes from Justin Fields in 2019 and 13 touchdowns from first-year starter C.J. Stroud in 2021. Olave averaged an impressive 14.4 yards per catch over his time in Columbus.
An imposing presence at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Burks caught 66 passes for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns during his final season at Arkansas. Burks (who averaged 16.4 yards per catch during his time with the Razerbacks) saved his best for last, catching 15 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns during his last two collegiate games.
During his final season at USC, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound London caught 88 passes for 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns in just eight games. During a five-game span, London caught 63 passes for 798 yards and four touchdowns while officially declaring himself as one of the top receivers in college football.
Dotson's enjoyed a gradual progression during his time at Penn State. During his final two seasons in Happy Valley, Johnson caught 143 passes for 2,066 yards and 20 touchdowns. Dotson showed his mettle in his final college game against Michigan State's formidable defense, as he caught eight passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns.