The move, which separated arguably the best receiver in the NFL from arguably the best quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, sent the league, and especially the wide receiver market, into a frenzy.
With Adams, the Raiders signing a $141.25 million deal over five years and becoming the most expensive receiver at the time, in the first big domino of free agency, the team reassessed their position group. began to As a result, the structure of the league was shaken with big deals and even bigger contracts.
Additionally, the team’s trend of picking exciting receivers early in the draft continued, with seven of the first 34 picks being drafted.
Jammer Chase’s historic success last year as a rookie may have struggled before, but he continued his run of first-year wide receivers producing from day one.
So why did the team suddenly decide that the position group is so important and the one that needs to be invested so much in?
According to Grant Callaway, founder of First Down Training, a training site for wide receivers, the change in style of how the game is played, advocated by current San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, has helped the team How to rate a wide receiver.
“There will always be four or five receivers on the field, so there will be a lot of one-on-one matchups. If there are people who can win matchups and there are people who can create separation…
“And I think that’s why we’re seeing this kind of push these days. Anyone can draft at the best possible value without having to spend $100 million to get Davante Adams. Because I’m trying to find a guy, someone who runs a good route and walks away, and I think that’s why the offense is evolving and what people always want is to be able to win one-on-one matchups. I think it’s the receiver.”
Money, money, and more money – it’s been an offseason of spending on people whose job it is to catch the ball. I’m here.
The biggest and perhaps most shocking move after Adams was Tyreek Hill trading Kansas City for Miami’s South Beach, where he was traded from the Chiefs to the Dolphins and then a massive $120 million four-year deal. An extension was signed and guaranteed $72.2 million. Anyone in the position group.
Over the next few weeks, Devante Parker left the Dolphins to go to the Patriots, Marquise Brown was traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the Arizona Cardinals, and the Tennessee Titans traded AJ Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles. , agreed to a four-year extension worth $100 million, followed soon after by $57 million in guarantees.
Not only that, other receivers were tied up in monster deals of their own. signed a three-year contract extension worth $10,000.
Stefon Diggs agrees to four-year, $96 million contract extension with Buffalo Bills, Terry McLoughlin signs three-year extension worth up to $70 million with Washington Commanders, DJ Moore with Carolina, worth $61.9 million signed a three-year extension of Panther.
Callaway said the spate of high-priced deals this summer was partly due to agents sensing a change in the environment.
“If they want that solid receiver, they have to pay for it,” he said.
“And I think the people negotiating contracts, the agents and all the other stuff probably know that. I came.
“That was their player. He’s like the best receiver in the league. Everything he does seems so easy. He looks head and shoulders above other receivers on the team. So when we go into contract negotiations, they’re like: ‘Hey, listen. I have to pay the man.”
Also, Drew Lieberman, founder of Sideline Hustle and personal wide receiver coach to many NFL players, believes in the “NBA mentality” (where players move teams more often in search of a better fit). ) is pervasive among NFL players. spirit.
“In the NFL, you used to try to stay on one team for as long as possible,” he told CNN Sports. “And there are some who decided that what they wanted to do most was get paid as much as possible. That’s their right.”
from day one
It was Chase’s first season in the league when he overtook seven Chiefs defenders with a staggering 72-yard touchdown in Week 17 to cement the Bengals’ position at the top of the AFC North. I tend to forget.
Only 21 years old at the time, Chase had a historic rookie season in the NFL. With three touchdowns and 266 receiving yards in the afternoon with the Chiefs, he not only set the NFL record for most receiving yards in a game by a rookie, he also broke the record for most receiving yards in a season by a rookie. .
That record was set the year before by Minnesota Vikings star Justin Jefferson.
First-year receivers often struggle to perform at the highest level from day one, but rookies from Chase and Jefferson to DK Metcalfe and Devonta Smith tend to enter as the number one option. It’s definitely a reality now.
So how do rookie wide receivers get into the league and be so good at producing from day one? I pointed out that it helps me teach.
Former Buffalo Bills coach Phoebe Scheckter said some of the league’s big stars benefit from playing contactless football.
“I mean, imagine passing Gary every week since you were 10. You definitely learn to be able to read defenses and react. Athletic ability that we seem to grow in this world.”
The advent of the internet and social media has also helped reduce the “information gap” between the game’s top and rising stars, Lieberman explains.
“Just the internet…there are so many great accounts online and on social media that teach the game,” he said. It was that there was a huge information gap between how we taught the game and how we coached the game at the highest level with what we experienced in high school and young.
“It’s a completely different game than the way it’s being talked about, the game planning and attacking details and all that. The amount of preparation and detail, the nuances of the game plan and kind, and how the game works, these I don’t think much of that information is more widely available.
“I know a guy on YouTube who watches over and over again highlight videos of his favorite players. It wasn’t always available as it is now.”
A busy offseason could spell the end of something, with players likely finding long-term homes and getting the salaries they see fit.
So why does it feel like we’re just getting started?