GREEN BAY, Wis. – Davante Adams and the Green Bay Packers’ four other veteran receivers skipped the first two weeks of the voluntary organized team activities but will attend this week’s mandatory minicamp, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
That means the only intrigue on the attendance report for the three practices, set for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, will be the whereabouts of MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Asked if he expects Rodgers to rejoin his teammates, coach Matt LaFleur after Wednesday’s OTA said, “I don’t know. We’ll see come Tuesday.”
The Packers could fine Rodgers up to $93,085 – $15,515 for Day 1, $31,020 for Day 2 and $46,540 for Day 3. The Packers could excuse that absence and cancel the fines – and logically would in hopes of salvaging the relationship with the star quarterback.
While there was speculation the absences of Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown and Devin Funchess were tied to the Rodgers situation, or even that they had joined Rodgers for secret workouts, a source close to one of the receivers on Monday morning said there was "no conspiracy going on, just ... guys enjoying their offseasons individually."
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Whether their absence was coordinated or coincidental, without Adams, Valdes-Scantling, Lazard, St. Brown and Funchess, the Packers had only six receivers for the first week of OTAs. The addition of speedster DeAndre Thompkins bumped that number up to seven for practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of last week.
While they were gone, they had not forgotten their team. Last week, receivers coach Jason Vrable said those receivers did participate in the virtual classroom sessions.
“Up until two weeks ago, we were doing virtual and they were doing everything, showing up for every meeting,” Vrable said on Thursday. “I love all those guys. They're great men and great players. Obviously, I want them here because, both on and off the field, they make us better.”
Adams is entering his final season under contract, though it's unknown whether his absence was related to his contract, Rodgers' future or something else.
Just how anonymous was the group of receivers catching passes from Jordan Love, Blake Bortles and Kurt Benkert last week?
Malik Taylor, Reggie Begelton and Juwann Winfree were with the team last season. They were joined by Chris Blair, third-round rookie Amari Rodgers, undrafted free agent Bailey Gaither and Thompkins. Of the six, only Rodgers was drafted. Combined as professionals, they have caught five passes for 66 yards. Those were all by Taylor last year, when he played 166 snaps. Winfree played eight, Begelton played two and Blair was out of the league as an undrafted rookie but signed a futures deal with the Packers on Jan. 8. Of the new faces, Blair and Gaither had impressive catches at Wednesday’s practice.