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Exploring a Davante Adams Extension


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Much has been made about the Packers lack of cap space.  With recent projections being anywhere between $175M-$185M, the Packers are currently sitting somewhere around $202M-$204M, which could be around $30M over the salary cap.  And the easiest possible move to restructure David Bakhtiari's contract was already.  But much has been discussed about potentially restructuring Aaron Rodgers' contract and to a lesser extent Za'Darius Smith.  But one of the ways the Packers can create more flexibility is a Davante Adams' extension.  I've been vocal about the Packers' preference for not handing out 3rd contracts as a general rule of thumb, but Adams is a clear candidate to be one of the exceptions (along with Bakh, Rodgers, etc.).  Let's start by looking at what Davante Adams currently has left on his contract.

Year | Base Salary | Prorated Signing Bonus | Roster Bonus | Workout Bonus | Cap Hit | Dead Cap | Cap Savings
2021: $12,250,000 | $3,600,000 | $437,500 | $500,000 | $16,787,500 | $3,600,000 | $13,187,500

Let's get one thing clear.  There is ZERO percent chance the Packers release Davante Adams.  In fact, I've got a better chance of being the starting QB of the Green Bay Packers next year then they do of Adams being released.  In terms of cap hits, Adams' $16.8M cap hit isn't a hard pill to swallow given that he was second in receptions, 5th receiving yards, and 1st in TD receptions.  In fact, across the league his $16.8M cap hit ranks 4th among all WRs in 2021.  So that being said, how do you come up with a contract comparison for a guy who is clearly a top 5 WR in the NFL.  Right now, there are 4 WRs in the NFL who have AAV (Average Annual Value) of $20M.  If you drop it to $19M, Michael Thomas gets into that group but he looks like a potential cap casualty.  But focusing on that $20M+ group, you've got DeAndre Hopkins ($27.25M/year), Julio Jones ($22M/year), Keenan Allen ($20.025M), and Amari Cooper ($20M).  And before I get too far, I'd consider Hopkins' extension a bit of an outlier given that the deal added 2 more years beyond his current contract.  His contract had 3 years remaining when he signed the new deal, so I'd probably ignore it when it comes to contract comparisons.  So let's look at those three other guys and take a look at when they signed it.

Julio Jones (September 2019): 3 years, $66M, $25M signing bonus, $64M guaranteed
Year | Base Salary | Prorated Signing Bonus | Roster Bonus | Workout Bonus | Other Bonus | Cap Hit (* Guaranteed)
2019: $1,500,000* | $7,400,000 | $0 | $0 | $1,466,667 | $10,366,667
2020: $11,200,000* | $5,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $2,750,000* | $20,416,668
2021: $15,300,000* | $5,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $2,750,000 | $23,050,000
2022: $11,513,000 | $5,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $2,750,000 | $19,263,000
2023: $11,513,000 | $5,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $2,750,000 | $19,263,000

The Falcons contract with Julio Jones isn't a pretty hard contract to decipher.  He's due a TON of money in 2021, and because of the guarantees in that year it makes him nearly impossible to be a cap casualty, so he's safe for the upcoming year.  The Falcons can release him after the upcoming season, but the cap savings are ro$ughly $3.8M which means unless he falls off the face of the earth this year he's probably a safe bet to come back.  One thing that needs to be noted is that Julio Jones signed that deal with 2 years left on his deal, which allowed the Falcons to spread his $25M signing bonus over 5 years instead of just the 3 years if he had signed his new deal after his old contract expired.

Keenan Allen (September 2020): 4 years, $80.1, $13.5M signing bonus, $43M guaranteed
Year | Base Salary | Prorated Signing Bonus | Roster Bonus | Workout Bonus | Other Bonus | Cap Hit (* Guaranteed)
2020: $5,500,000* | $4,600,000 | $0 | $250,000 | $0 | $10,350,000
2021: $13,000,000* | $2,700,000 | $0 | $0 | $0 | $15,700,000
2022: $16,250,000 | $2,700,000 | $0 | $0 | $0 | $19,200,000
2023: $15,500,000 | $2,700,000 | $3,500,000 | $0 | $0 | $21,700,000
2024: $18,100,000 | $2,700,000 | $5,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $25,800,000

Again, it's a pretty easy contract to sort through.  He signed this deal with one year left on his rookie contract extension, so they could spread the signing bonus over 5 years instead of 4.  His 2022 salary guarantees if he's on the Chargers' roster on 3/21/21, which seems to be almost a given which would bump his guarantees up to nearly $60M which is on par with what Julio Jones got from the Falcons.  The Chargers do gain a TON of flexibility after the 2022 season, when they can release him and save more than $16M.  And it's highly unlikely that he sees that 2024 roster unless he's playing at an elite level at 32 years old.

Amari Cooper (March 2020: 5 years, $100M, $10M signing bonus, $40M guaranteed
Year | Base Salary | Prorated Signing Bonus | Roster Bonus | Workout Bonus | Other Bonus | Cap Hit (* Guaranteed)
2020: $10,000,000* | $2,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $0 | $12,000,000
2021: $20,000,000* | $2,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $0 | $22,000,000
2022: $20,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $0 | $22,000,000
2023: $20,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $0 | $22,000,000
2024: $20,000,000 | $2,000,000 | $0 | $0 | $0 | $22,000,000

Talk about a bland contract.  It's like Jerry Jones literally used the C&P function over and over again.  Similar to Keenan Allen, Cooper's 2022 salary guarantees the 5th league day of the 2022 year.  Overall, it's a pretty basic contract that effectively is a 2 year, $40M with 3 straight $20M options.  If he consistently plays well, they're likely bringing him back but it is a year-to-year deal after that 2021 season.  If he whiffs badly this year, he's a potential cap casualty.  Personally, I think Amari Cooper sacrificed a slightly lower AAV and a lower signing bonus for that 5th year.

 

 

So let's dig into Davante Adams potential extension.  We've seen a 3 year deal all the way up to 5 year deal, which is why I think a 4 year deal is probably the likely outcome.  In terms of AAV, Adams has been a top 5 receiver and I think there's a very strong argument for Adams to make $22M+.  I don't think he comes close to the $27.5M, but I think he's going to ask to beat Julio Jones AAV so we're talking about at least $22.5M.  So you're talking about 4 years, $90M in terms of new money.  But Adams still has money left on his contract.  The problem is the Packers probably want to lower his cap hit this year.  The Packers have already paid out the signing bonus from the other contract, so they're on the hook for that this year even if they sign his extension so at a minimum you're looking at $3.6M cap hit plus the veteran minimum.  Odds are that the Packers don't want to crazily backload the contract, and Adams probably doesn't agree to that.  But if Adams is willing to drop his base salary down to $4M they'd create a ton of cap space.  In return, they'll push that $8.25M into the future so you're talking about spreading $83.25M over the four years.  The Packers like giving out workout bonuses.  They have 800k in each year of Bakh's extension.  Rodgers has 500k in each year.  Z has 750k in each year.  It's easy money for the player.  All they have to do is show up.  Here's a potential extension.

Davante Adams: 4 years, $90M, $15M signing bonus, $27M guaranteed

Davante Adams (previous contract)
Year | Base Salary | Prorated Signing Bonus | Roster Bonus | Workout Bonus | Cap Hit | Dead Cap | Cap Savings
2021: $12,250,000 | $3,600,000 | $437,500 | $500,000 | $16,787,500 | $3,600,000 | $13,187,500

Davante Adams (extension)
Year | Base Salary | Prorated Signing Bonus | Roster Bonus | Workout Bonus | Cap Hit | Dead Cap | Cap Savings
2021: $4,000,000* | $6,600,000 | $0 | $500,000 | $10,600,000
2022:  $8,000,000* | $3,000,000 | $0 | $500,000 | $11,500,000
2023:  $4,000,000 | $3,000,000 | $12,000,000 | $500,000 | $19,500,000
2024:  $15,500,000 | $3,000,000 | $0 | $500,000 | $19,000,000
2025:  $18,500,000 | $3,000,000 | $0 | $500,000 | $22,000,000

Right there, the Packers need to probably squeeze around another $8M into the contract to make up for the money that Adams is giving up this year.  Some of that probably goes into 2022's roster as a form of a roster bonus.  You can probably throw around $5M of that into a roster bonus that guarantees if he's on the roster after the 2021 season, and bump up his 2023 salary up to $7M instead of $4M which gives you a new contract of.

2021: $4,000,000* | $6,600,000 | $0 | $500,000 | $10,600,000
2022:  $8,000,000* | $3,000,000 | $5,000,000 | $500,000 | $16,500,000
2023:  $7,000,000 | $3,000,000 | $12,000,000 | $500,000 | $22,500,000
2024:  $15,500,000 | $3,000,000 | $0 | $500,000 | $19,000,000
2025:  $18,500,000 | $3,000,000 | $0 | $500,000 | $22,000,000

That's not the only option.  Ken Ingalls also gave out a contract proposal that I think is a bit rich and doesn't take into account the Hopkins' situation.

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53 minutes ago, pgwingman said:

If you had to rank them, which order would you prefer to restructure: Rodgers, Adams, Z Smith, and Other?

Restructure or extend?

Restructured Z. Smith>A. Rodgers (Adams cannot be restructured as he's on his final year)
Extended D. Adams>> Z. Smith>0=A. Rodgers

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2 hours ago, pgwingman said:

If you had to rank them, which order would you prefer to restructure: Rodgers, Adams, Z Smith, and Other?

Adams can't be restructured.  He's only got 1 more year left on his contract.

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6 minutes ago, CWood21 said:

Adams can't be restructured.  He's only got 1 more year left on his contract.

Seems like he's a logical candidate for an extension. Lower his 2021 cap number for some financial perks later on when the cap numbers recover. Am I thinking about this right?

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Fussnputz said:

Seems like he's a logical candidate for an extension. Lower his 2021 cap number for some financial perks later on when the cap numbers recover. Am I thinking about this right?

Absolutely.  I'd be surprised if Gute and his agent haven't been discussing a contract already.  I think it's just a matter of discussing how much money the Packers want to save.

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49 minutes ago, Toddfather said:

Its a no brainer move in a lot of ways. I'm interested to see what happens with Z, and maybe even Rodgers.

I think Z is a low-key extension candidate as well.  They could restructure his contract.  Restructuring only the roster bonus saves less than $3M.  Restructuring just the base salary saves just under $5M.  Restructuring both saves nearly $8M.

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