After Davante Adams trade, Packers go after speedy receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in free agency
GREEN BAY – The same day the Green Bay Packers traded wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders, they made a call hoping to make free agent Marquez Valdes-Scantling an offer before he signed with another team.
A source for one of the teams interested in Valdes-Scantling said he was told the Packers called the receiver’s agent, Harold Lewis, as soon as they finalized the deal to trade Adams and asked him to wait before he signed somewhere else.
He said he got the feeling Valdes-Scantling was going to return to the Packers.
Valdes-Scantling was close to choosing between offers he had received on the free-agent market, but his desire to return and be a top target for quarterback Aaron Rodgers is strong, a source said.
Up to this point, Lewis had been seeking a one-year deal worth between $7 million and $10 million for Valdes-Scantling. The Packers could not have afforded that before they traded Adams because they were so tight against the salary cap.
However, the Packers will gain $20 million in salary cap room as soon as the Adams deal is submitted to the NFL, which will allow them not only to re-sign Valdes-Scantling but also compete for cornerback Rasul Douglas, who is also an unrestricted free agent. Douglas has been a priority all through free agency, but the Packers didn’t have the cap room to do a deal until now.
Getting Valdes-Scantling back would give Rodgers a third receiver who knows him and the offense well. The Packers retained restricted free agent Allen Lazard and hung onto receiver Randall Cobb, who accepted a $5.8 million pay cut to return.
The Packers made the Adams deal official Friday.
“It’s never easy moving on from a player and person the caliber of Davante Adams," general manager Brian Gutekunst said in a statement. "We have so much respect for all that Davante gave on and off the field during his eight seasons in Green Bay as he was integral to all that we’ve accomplished. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the storied history of the Packers and we look forward to him being enshrined into the Packers Hall of Fame one day. We wish nothing but the best for Davante, his wife Devanne and the rest of their family moving forward."
Valdes-Scantling was a starter alongside Adams last year, but injuries limited him to 11 games. He caught 26 passes for 430 yards (16.5 average) and three touchdowns. Even though Valdes-Scantling’s numbers were modest, the Packers missed his blazing speed in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
He had been on a roll late in the season, catching four passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Minnesota in Week 11, four for 50 against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 12 and five for 98 yards and a touchdown in a victory over Baltimore in Week 15.
However, he missed Week 16 aafter being placed on the COVID-19 list and then injured his back in the season finale against Detroit after playing 15 snaps.
He tried to practice the week of the 49ers game but dropped out because of the back injury and did not play.
In four seasons, Valdes-Scantling has 123 catches for 2,153 yards (17.5-yard average) and 13 touchdowns.
He had seven drops in 2020 but just one last season.