Highest-paid WR? Adams, Pack differ on amount

NFL

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Davante Adams wants to be the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. The Green Bay Packers aren’t opposed to making that happen, but there’s one not-so-minor problem.

They can’t agree on the definition of “highest-paid receiver in the NFL.”

Adams and his representatives say the Arizona CardinalsDeAndre Hopkins now holds that title at $27.25 million per year.

The way the Packers — and many teams around the NFL — view it is Hopkins’ average is closer to the $20 million annual mark. That’s because Hopkins’ deal with the Cardinals was an extension to his previous contract. He was on a five-year, $81 million deal. So while the new money — two years and $54.5 million — indeed averaged $27.25, there were three years remaining on his previous contract.

“I think there’s a little bit with that particular situation, it’s how you interpret what the highest receiver in the National Football League is getting paid, you know what I mean?” Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said Thursday.

A day earlier, Adams said he would not settle for anything less than being the highest-paid wideout.

“Certainly, I agree with him that he’s definitely worth that,” Gutekunst said. “We believe that, as well. I think there might be just a little bit of difference in what we believe is the highest-paid receiver and what he might. I’m not going to get into the details of that. Again, we value him. He’s such a great player. He’s a warrior when he goes out there. Obviously, we would like to figure something out and will continue to work on that as we go.”

Talks stalled between the two sides shortly before Adams reported for training camp on Tuesday. Adams, in the final year of a four-year, $58 million deal signed in 2017, is the NFL’s 15th-highest-paid receiver at $14.5 million. The 28-year-old is coming off an All-Pro season and set a team record with 115 catches (for 1,374 yards) and led the NFL with 18 touchdown catches — all while missing nearly three full games.

“We had a lot of time to figure this thing out, and we weren’t really able to make all a lot of progress, sadly,” Adams said.

“So when things aren’t as smooth as what they should be or as simple, I wish that thing was like the NBA, where you get a max contract if you’re that type of guy, and it’s simple. But apparently it’s not as simple as what it should be.”

While Adams said he was thrilled to have quarterback Aaron Rodgers back after the offseason uncertainty, he won’t take less money just to play with Rodgers next season — assuming there is a next season for Rodgers in Green Bay.

“Yeah, no, that’s not gonna happen,” Adams said. “You know, I don’t want to. It’s not about being a baby, but what other profession do you take less than what you have earned. That’s not how it goes.

“The fans may see it different in certain ways, and I’m sure there’s a lot of fans that see it the same way that myself, my family, my agent, and most of the league sees it. I’m not a baby, so I’m not I’m not going to not show up, and I’m not complaining about it. At the end of the day, I’m not poor right now, you know. I’ll be OK to get through and go and try to win a Super Bowl again. And so that’s my main focus now. I mean, the offseason was working out and trying to come to an agreement, but we weren’t able to do that, so now it’s kind of time to lock in.”

The Packers have made players the highest-paid at their positions before. In November, David Bakhtiari became the highest-paid offensive lineman at $23 million a year. In August before that, Kenny Clark became the highest-paid nose tackle at $17.5 million per year.

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