How Davante Adams' Contract Extension Changes This Offseason

The Packers had one more gift under the Christmas tree, agreeing to a four year, $58 million extension with wide receiver Davante Adams.

Before the 2017 season began, we speculated what to expect from Adams in a contract year. Both of our predictions came true, as Adams produced at about the same level as his breakout 2016 campaign and saw slightly fewer targets because of new weapons on offense.

The deal follows the pattern Green Bay has held to for years – frontloading their star’s contracts. Adams receives $18 million as a signing bonus and will earn $32 million of the $58 million over the first two years of the deal.

The idea of front-loading contract extensions is something the Packers do frequently. Adams’ extension is no different:

Think of the way the Packers structure their contracts like a pay as you go cell phone contract. It’ll cost you more upfront to buy the phone outright, but you’ll make your return later on and have future financial flexibility.

How this contract affects the Packers this offseason

It’s likely Adams and the Packers agreed to the contract extension before Sunday’s regular season finale to allow Green Bay some addition salary cap flexibility. Because the extension was completed during the 2017 regular season, the Packers are able to leverage some of their remaining $10 million in salary cap space.

The additional flexibility means the Packers will have more salary cap room this offseason than had the two sides came to the same deal in the months to come before free agency. If Green Bay continues to use free agency to add veterans like they did last season, the additional room will be needed.

Aaron Rodgers is in need of a new contract. The star quarterback is expected to eclipse Matthew Stafford’s $27 million annual salary, so every penny the Packers can save until then helps.

Finally, center Corey Linsley is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The Packers appeared to choose Linsley over JC Tretter, who signed with Cleveland for $16 million over three years. Linsley is the only Packers offensive starter this year to have not missed a single snap.

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