A blockbuster saw the Green Bay Packers trade franchise-labeled wide receiver Davante Adams with the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday. Widely regarded as the league’s best wide receiver, Adams signed a new $140 million contract with the Raiders over five seasons. This is believed to be the highest average annual value ever for a no-quarterback contract.
The trade immediately caused panic among Kansas City Chiefs supporters. The Raiders – a divisional foe coming off a surprise playoff run – added one of the league’s best players to the mix of big moves that the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers have also done to bolster their roster. On paper, the 2022 AFC West looks poised to become the strongest division in the league’s history.
But a second concern for Chiefs fans involves their own receiver. For weeks, it has been rumored that star receiver Tyreek Hill – who will enter the final year of his contract in 2022 – is about to sign a long-term contract extension. Such an agreement would ensure that he remains in the prime of his career in Kansas City and lowers its existing $22 million limit.
After the Adams news broke, a story arose that a Hill expansion is significantly less likely — or will cost significantly more. More extreme views have suggested that Chiefs general manager Brett Veach failed by failing to complete overtime while Adams was still a Packer.
After Davante Adams’ mega deal with the Raiders, Tyreek Hill’s situation with the Chiefs is one to watch. He wanted a new deal, but talks came to nothing. Now Adams’ payday is only making things worse, a source says.
— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) March 19, 2022
But as more details about Adams’ record-breaking contract become known, it seems less likely that what Hill can realistically demand of the Chiefs will change. Per spotracAdams’ compensation is heavily burdened with excessive future base salaries that the Raiders probably have no intention of paying.
Adams is slated to count $40 million against the cap for the 2025 and 2026 seasons — at which time he will be 33 and 34 years old. While his precise walking route tends to age well, it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever see the unguaranteed $35.6 million base salaries that make up those cap hits. Those years under contract probably only exist to spread his $19.25 million signing bonus.
In fact, the real money Adams will see is $67.5 million over three seasons. His earnings for the 2022-2024 seasons average $22.5 million per season — a number relatively in line with rumors being considered in a new Hill contract.
Ultimately, Adams’ contract will likely have minimal impact on the Chiefs’ negotiations with Hill. If it’s important to him to beat his new division rival in average salary per year, the Chiefs can easily blow the back of Hill’s deal with imaginary money. But it is more likely that he will sign a more typical contract with an annual average in line with Adams’ next three seasons – as he probably always did.
Still, Hill can outdo Adams in guaranteed money. Adams’ contract is guaranteed $22.75 million when signed. Barring an unexpectedly rapid decline in the game (or his situation off the field), $42.9 million more will be coming in at the start of the 2023 league year – backed by a $20.5 million roster bonus already guaranteed against injuries .
Expect Hill to pass the chance to match Adams in annual average but receive a larger amount of his contract guaranteed at signing. And it remains likely that Hill will see the benefit of signing an extension this season, rather than risk a serious injury playing on his next contract.
This week’s extension for Carolina Panthers receiver DJ Moore — negotiated by Hill’s agent Drew Rosenhaus — is likely to have a bigger impact on talks with the Chiefs. Like Hill, Moore was entering the final year of his existing contract. He appears to have signed a three-year extension that will see him stay in Carolina until 2025. The signing would have turned much of his previous salary into a signing bonus to lower his 2022 maximum.
When more details about Moore’s deal are known, it will likely give us a taste of how Hill’s eventual deal could be structured, although the overall revenue will be different.
Despite the lightning-fast news cycle of the past week, Hill can still be expected to sign a very lucrative contract soon to keep him in red and gold for the foreseeable future.