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Rodgers Offers Hall of Fame-Worthy Response to Adams

Davante Adams mentioned Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr in the same Hall of Fame breath on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers fired back on Wednesday.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – In Davante Adams’ eyes, he went from one Hall of Fame quarterback to another.

The first of those Hall of Famers, Aaron Rodgers, offered a response to his former teammate.

“It’s always tough going from Hall of Famer to Hall of Famer. From Davante to Allen, it’s going to be a transition,” Rodgers, with a straight face but surely having fun with his friend, said of Allen Lazard after Wednesday’s practice at Green Bay Packers training camp.

The Packers traded Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in February. The move reunited Adams with his longtime friend and college quarterback, Derek Carr. In eight seasons, Carr has been selected to three Pro Bowls and is closing in on 200 career touchdowns.

“Any time you change quarterbacks from a Hall of Famer to Hall of Famer — you go (Raiders legend Ken) Stabler to Rich Gannon or whoever you go to — it's going to be a little bit of an adjustment,” Adams said Sunday in an interview with CBS Sports.

He tried to clarify that statement later in the day.

“What I’m not going to do is take away from that statement because, why is Derek not a Hall of Famer?” Adams said. “What I meant, I left one keyword out of there because that’s not exactly what I meant. But I do think that Derek’s career is Hall of Fame-worthy, and why not? Does he have the MVPs right now? No. Has he won a Super Bowl? Not yet. That’s obviously what we’re chasing.

“But what I meant to say was, ‘Even if you go Hall of Famer to Hall of Famer, it’s an adjustment.’ I wasn’t saying, ‘Hall of Famer Aaron to Hall of Famer Derek.’ So, I’m not retracting my statement at all.”

Adams dominated as Green Bay’s No. 1 receiver. The past six seasons, he led all NFL receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns. The past two seasons, he caught 238 passes for 2,927 and 29 touchdowns. His dominant run has put him on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

In 42 games over three-plus seasons, Lazard has caught 109 passes for 1,448 yards and 14 touchdowns. Adams had more catches in 2020 and 2021, more yards in 2021 and more touchdowns in 2020.

Some of that is opportunity. Maybe he was exaggerating a bit, but Rodgers during the minicamp said 80 percent of the passing offense ran through Adams. More opportunities in a more diversified attack should mean more production for Lazard.

“I’ve never wavered on the belief in myself and being able to step up,” Lazard said. “Obviously, when Davante was here, his talent is extreme. It’s tremendous, undoubtedly. He’s the best wide receiver in the league right now and probably will be for a while. That doesn’t mean I’m far behind him from that standpoint. I learned a lot from him. He’s taught me a lot, not only on the field but also off the field and how to carry yourself as a professional and as a man, as well. I’m thankful for my time with him but things move on and it’s a different age now.”

Lazard, an undrafted free agent in 2018 who was signed off the Jaguars’ practice squad late in his rookie season, has had his moments. He’s got two 100-yard games on his resume, including at New Orleans when Adams was inactive in 2020, and almost had another in the 2020 playoffs against the Rams, when he scored the clinching touchdown.

During the final five weeks of last season, he had games of 75 yards and two touchdowns, 72 yards and one touchdown and 75 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s capable of a lot,” Rodgers said. “The way things have gone with the reps and the guys that we’ve had here and the targets that we’ve doled out, he hasn’t had a ton of opportunities. But since his first day here, he’s turned heads, so it’s not surprising for him to go out and have a really consistent day today.

“He has a lot to prove, I think, to himself and other people and maybe to the team, as well. So, I like a hungry Allen Lazard and it will be an adjustment for us but I’m happy with Day 1.”

Day 1 of Packers Training Camp