The Aaron Rodgers-Davante Adams connection came to a very abrupt end Thursday when Adams was traded to the Raiders for a pair of 2022 draft picks, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
The reported trade gives the Packers the 22nd and 53rd overall picks in this year's draft, adding to their in own picks in those rounds (Nos. 29 and 59).
Source: The #Packers are receiving a 1st and a 2nd rounder in this year’s draft in exchange for WR Davante Adams— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2022
MORE: Davante Adams trade details: Packers send WR to Raiders in blockbuster deal
There were a lot of moving parts in getting to this place, not least the fact the Raiders agreed to make Adams the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. Las Vegas committed to paying Adams $141.25 million over the next five years, or $28.25 million annually, surpassing DeAndre Hopkins' $27.25 million per year.
MORE: Aaron Rodgers contract details: Packers QB set to make $150M over three seasons
With that in mind, here are the grades for the Raiders and Packers in this blockbuster deal.
The only times there are clear winners and losers in a trade is when a player is asking for more than a team is willing to give. That was clearly the case here; no doubt the Packers thought at the beginning of this offseason that there was no way they'd part with Adams for two early-round picks in 2022.
The Raiders reunited Adams with his Fresno State teammate Derek Carr. The Carr-to-Adams connection produced a lot of big numbers and big plays.
Adams makes the Raiders' offense better immediately, and losing the two draft picks doesn't hurt in the big picture given that Sporting News' Vinnie Iyer had the Raiders taking a receiver in the first round. In that context, Las Vegas ultimately sacrificed one pick to fill a big hole in the offense with one of the best players in the league at his position.
The only reason the Packers don't get a failing grade for this trade is because it clearly fits into their plan, whether or not that plan is misguided. They didn't want to pay Adams what he was asking, so getting two draft picks is beneficial after Adams made clear he wasn't going to play on the franchise tag.
The Packers now have four picks in the first two rounds, and that is valuable. This grade does not exist to say otherwise.
But one of those picks will likely be used on a wide receiver, and to get a player who can put up even half of Adams' production would be a win. Giving up elite talent in the hopes of finding elite talent is a questionable move.
Aaron Rodgers is another X-factor in all of this. For all the drama from Rodgers about taking care of "his guys," Adams is the latest in a series of receivers beloved by Rodgers to be shipped out. Can the Packers find someone else Rodgers will like? Absolutely. Will they find a player capable of matching Adams' stats? Highly unlikely.