Sports fans live in the era of instant gratification. Not every player will be LeBron James or, more recently, Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson, both of whom immediately starred and became some of the best at what they did.
Adams can attest to being in the club of players who gradually improved. With that said, Adams owes his teammates for never giving up on him and his slower path to stardom.
Davante Adams is the Green Bay Packers’ star receiver
If Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wins the NFL MVP Award, he may want to thank Davante Adams in his victory speech.
A second-round pick in 2014, Adams turned in his greatest professional campaign this year. Adams turned 115 catches into 1,375 yards and 18 touchdowns in 14 games.
Across a full 16-game pace, Adams would have finished the year with 131 catches, 1,570 yards, and 21 touchdowns.
Adams took a few years to break out
The days of teams and fans patiently allowing players to improve each year gradually appear to be over in the era of instant gratification.
Davante Adams should be grateful that the Packers stuck with him after a mixed start to his career. Adams totaled 88 catches for 929 yards and four touchdowns in 29 games and 23 starts across his first two seasons.
Although Adams played next to the reliable Jordy Nelson, he entered the league as a talented second-round pick with one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks throwing his way.
Former Packers coach Mike McCarthy stayed optimistic and kept Adams starting at receiver in 2016. Adams rewarded the Packers with 75 catches, 997 yards, and 12 touchdowns on a team that reached the NFC championship game.
Davante Adams owes his former teammates for keeping the faith
Luckily for Davante Adams, he had teammates and coaches willing to let him develop at his own pace.
The Packers’ official website transcribed comments that James Jones, who played with Adams in 2015, made during a 2017 conference call.
Jones recalled telling Packers star wideout Jordy Nelson that Adams had a chance to become an elite player.
“I talked to Jordy and said, ‘The kid is special, man. Make sure you stay on Davante because the kid is special.’ Last year, he showed that (but) I told him before this year he still has a lot more to show.”
Nelson did stay on Adams, who made his first Pro Bowl in 2017 with a 74-catch, 885-yard, 10-touchdown season at 25 years old.
The Packers would be wise to ensure they keep Adams around. The four-time Pro Bowl wideout is set to hit free agency after the 2021 season ends.