Aaron Rodgers shares confidence in Packers' front office after passing on receivers in first round

Safid Deen
USA TODAY

Aaron Rodgers saw the Green Bay Packers trade star receiver Davante Adams this offseason.

Then Thursday night, he watched as his team drafted two defenders with its first-round picks. 

Rodgers also saw the Eagles acquire receiver A.J. Brown from the Titans, and the Cardinals land Marquise "Hollywood" Brown from the Ravens, while six other receivers were drafted in the first round.

Yet Rodgers – the Packers’ future Hall of Fame quarterback – sounded confident about Green Bay’s front office and the team's ability to remain competitive in the NFC next season.

"I’m sure Packer Nation will be wondering why we didn’t take a receiver or trade up or whatnot. But at this point, you just got to have some faith in the organization, and faith in whoever we bring in (Friday) and the rest of this draft,” he said.

He said he had been communicating with the Packers on draft night, knowing they would bypass the receiver position to draft Georgia inside linebacker Quay Walker and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt.

Speaking on "The Pat McAee Show" for the first time since Adams was traded, Rodgers admitted the receiver's departure surprised him.

“It was a little surprising with Davante," Rodgers said. "Obviously when I made my decision, I was still thinking he was going to come back. I was very honest with him about my plans and my future, and where I saw my career going as far as how many years I want to play. I felt like he was going to be back."

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field after a NFC Divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field.

Adams signed a five-year, $141.25 million contract with the Raiders in March, leaving the Packers after eight seasons.

“I thought based on the number we offered Davante and being able to play with me for a few more years would definitely make a difference,” Rodgers continued. “But in the end, I think he was ready to move on and wanted my help in making that happen. It was a tough decision for sure because I love him, and I care about him, and I want him to be happy. He’s definitely going to be missed.”

So what's next at receiver?

After trading Adams, one school of thought is the Packers could acquire a rising star receiver looking for a payday, like disgruntled San Francisco 49ers standout Deebo Samuel.

“I’ve felt like we’ve been in the mix. But does San Fran want to trade Deebo Samuel to us? I don’t [think so],” Rodgers said.

He believes there are other factors at play.

“I think we’ve been in the mix for some of these guys. That's what it seems like. Now, not a lot of teams probably want to trade receivers to Green Bay. So I think we’re probably in the back of the line for a lot of these teams... And nobody wants to trade [within] the division a guy like Deebo, probably,” Rodgers said.

“But at the same time, I think if you’re not going to pay Davante ... Obviously, we traded him. He wanted to move on. But going out and paying another guy, I don’t know if that makes a ton of sense.”

Rodgers was optimistic about the Packers’ two second-round picks and mentioned their history of drafting receivers like Adams, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver in later rounds.

“There are some veteran guys out there that I think are going to be possibilities. And also we have two picks in the second round [Friday], and I’m sure there are some guys on the board that they probably like,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers ended his segment on McAfee’s show sharing his optimism for the new-look Packers without Adams. 

“I’m going to put in the time to make it work with those guys, and we’re going to find a way in Matt’s offense to be successful like we always have. It’s not going to be any different this year. We’re going to be in the mix.

“Obviously, our defense is going to be really good, and defense wins championships. … Offensively, we didn’t do our part last year in the playoffs. We have to live with that and find a way to get it done next year when we’re in that position.”