Since being traded to the Raiders prior to last season, Davante Adams has made a lot of things happen in Las Vegas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to stay there.
Acquired from the Green Bay Packers for first- and second-round draft picks and then signed to a five-year, $141.25 million contract, Adams had 100 receptions for 1,516 yards and 14 touchdowns with his former college teammate Derek Carr throwing him the ball for the majority of last season. This season with Jimmy Garoppolo, who is injured and seems unlikely to play this weekend, starting for Vegas, Adams has 39 catches for 471 yards and three scores. None of those touchdowns came in the team’s last two games, which were both victories.
The back-to-back wins brought the Raiders back to .500 and have Las Vegas in the playoff hunt, but Adams, who has been targeted a team-high 59 times through six weeks of play, isn’t happy about his role in the team’s offense.
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“I’m sure people are thinking, ‘They won the game, so why is there an issue?’” Adams, who caught six passes for 74 yards combined in Weeks 5 and 6, said Wednesday. “When you’re a player like me, mentally my benchmark is not wins and losses, it’s greatness. So when I go out there, I expect to have that ability to put that on the table and have an influence on the game. That’s my purpose for being here. I came here to win and to do it the right way, so if it doesn’t look like it’s supposed to look, then I’m going to be frustrated if I’m not part of that plan.”
Getting set up to take this hit likely didn’t do anything to ease his frustrations.
Scoring is down across the NFL with teams averaging just 21.7 points per game, compared to 21.9 last season, but the Raiders have been particularly bad, scoring just 16.7 points per game. They’re one of six teams (including the Bengals, Falcons, Steelers, Patriots and Giants) averaging fewer points per game than any team did last season.
With Garoppolo likely to miss Sunday’s game against Chicago and Brian Hoyer or Aidan O’Connell probably starting in his place, getting in the end zone isn’t going to get any easier for Las Vegas. That’s not good news for the Raiders as it sounds like Adams doesn’t merely want the team to score — he wants to be the one in the end zone.
“If [wide receiver] Jakobi [Meyers] was to go out and have a monster game or the offense was to score every five plays…it is what it is,” Adams said. “It’s not about me, but I’m one of the bigger pieces as to why this offense is going to go. I’m not naive. At the end of the day, it’s not easy throwing to somebody who gets the coverage that I get.”
Easy or not, the Raiders have to find a way to get Adams the ball over the next couple of weeks to make him happy. If they don’t, they may have to find a trade partner before the deadline at 4 p.m. on Halloween.