Cue up the Law & Order dun-dun or “clang” as it’s called. Because the Las Vegas Raiders got themselves a new DA on the case.
In a truly “holy s***” moment, wide receiver Davante Adams is now a Raider. How wild is that? General manager Dave Ziegler kicked the NFL in the gut and delivered a Thursday afternoon Stone Cold Stunner with a blockbuster deal that sent Adams to Vegas and the Raiders’ first- and second-round picks (No. 22 and No. 53) to the Green Bay Packers.
Which two things stand out in this move by the Raiders?
- Adams wanted to be reunited with his Fresno State QB in Carr and he fulfilled a reported lifelong dream of donning the Silver & Black by becoming a Raider.Â
- How little Green Bay got in return for one of the game’s best wide receivers.Â
Look, I’m not obtuse. I’m sure the coin Vegas is handing Adams plays a huge part, but don’t discount the connection the wideout has and built with Carr when both were Bulldogs. With Carr slingin’ him the ball in Fresno, Adams put up an outlandish number of yards and touchdowns during his freshman and sophomore seasons (233 catches, 3,031 yards, 38 touchdowns). That 2013 campaign saw Adams haul in 131 throws for 1,719 yards and 24 touchdowns. That season was Carr’s senior year as a Bulldog, and he threw for a total of 5,083 yards and 50 touchdowns to just eight interceptions that year. Two prolific seasons in Fresno State history.
Clown the trade all you want, but damn son, the Raiders still have lore and Adams wanted to sport that Silver & Black.Â
From @GMFB: Davante Adams will fulfill his lifelong dream to play for the #Raiders and with QB Derek Carr, becoming the highest-paid WR in the NFL to do it. A look at how it all went down… pic.twitter.com/uyyYVlEWmC
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2022
The return for the Packers is so meager…
On to point two, the return for the Packers seems so meager that I’m still shook. A first and second for one of the game’s premiere wide receivers sounds awfully cheap. In a July 2020 trade, the New York Jets got two first-round picks, a third-round selection and a player for safety Jamal Adams, and a fourth-round pick for the Seattle Seahawks in a July 2020 swap. So in the nearly two years since then, the going rate for a top-flight wide receiver, a game-breaking wideout, is merely one first and one second?
For me, if I’m the Packers, I’m drawing a line in the sand and telling both Vegas and Davante that this trade isn’t happening unless I get at least two 1s, a 2 and a player. Once the news flooded the Twitterverse, I was waiting for the dirty deets to come out and the compensation to be a player (I honestly thought it’d be tight end Darren Waller going to Green Bay, after all Rodgers and Matt LaFleur saw the damage D-Wall did to Green Bay back in 2019).
Those picks aren’t chump change…
All that said, the No. 22 and 53 overall picks that the Pack got from the Raiders aren’t chump change. Green Bay has two potential impact rookies if it plays its cards right, or valuable bargaining chips in future trades.
Let’s flip it back to Ziegler. After the initial radio silence as other teamsâ€”specifically the Jacksonville Jaguars and squads in the AFC Westâ€”made it rain and brought in some difference-makers, the Raiders’ new personnel decision-maker responded in emphatic fashion. First came adding top-flight pass rusher Chandler Jones via free agency and trading 2021 sack-leader Yannick Ngakoue to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Then came the big-ass trade for Adams.
Raiders owner Mark Davis must be smiling right now
After watching his valuable coin go down the drain in previous regime’s offseason/free agency moves, Raiders owner Mark Davis has to be smiling ear-to-ear with the fiscal responsibility (and restraint) Ziegler showed while other teams opened up the bank accounts.
Mark Davis: Tell me Dave, who are you going to spend my money on?
Dave Ziegler: Chandler Jones and then Davante Adams.
— Ray Aspuria (@RaynMaker82) March 17, 2022
And now, the Raiders enter new territory: Legitimate Super Bowl contenders. About. Damn. Time. The chemistry that Adams and Carr already have and will continue to expand upon this season can’t be understated. Adams can walk into this offense and merely look at Carr and know what the quarterback is thinking. That’s invaluable, especially in a hostile environment like Arrowhead, for example. With a bona fide No. 1 wide receiver now, opposing defenses can’t focus on an aspect of the Raiders’ offense and shut them down.
What will the Raiders’ offense look like now?
Carr will have Adams, slot extraordinaire Hunter Renfrow, and Waller at his disposal in the passing game. And that should be backed up by a stout running game led by Josh Jacobs.
Hold up, I didn’t forget about the offensive line. That’s the biggest question in Vegas, no doubt. An offense can’t cook if the big uglies up front aren’t doing their job, and despite all the fantastic weaponry around him, Carr will do exactly jack s*** if he’s not protected.
But I seriously doubt Ziegler, Josh McDaniels, and the rest of the Raiders personnel crew decided to trade for and cash out Adams if they didn’t have a plan for the trenchmen. There’s plenty of time between now, the draft, and training camps to get that sorted out.
And if you’re still concerned AF, look at it this way: Zielger was operating in silence to land Adams.
He’s earned some benefit of the doubt, no?
*Top Photo: The Fresno Bee