Much was said by the many talking heads in Las Vegas for Super Bowl 58 on Sunday, but much of that was of little interest to fans outside of San Francisco and Kansas City. Not so on NFL Network, though, where the team’s insiders poked around the early stages of the offseason before it even began in earnest. And the Raiders are, no doubt, one of the teams to watch, especially as they’re sitting on one of the most talked-about stars on the rumor mill, wide receiver Davante Adams.
There has been a presumption laid out over the last few months that Adams, at age 31, will want out of Las Vegas and will force a trade to rejoin his former quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, with the Jets. And there has been ample speculation that the Raiders would be open to it.
Not so fast, however. Here’s what insider Ian Rapoport said on the NFL Network pregame show about an Adams deal:
“The Las Vegas Raiders in win-now mode, not really in the business of giving away players, which is why the fact that, my understanding, Aaron Rodgers has been trying to recruit Davante Adams to the Jets—remember, the Jets kind of made a run at him this past year, there was nothing there. Expected to try again this offseason.
“From what I am told, the Raiders want to win, believe they can and have zero plans to trade Davante Adams.”
Keeping Davante Adams Keeps Raiders Close to Competing
That is likely to draw more positive reaction than negative in Raiders Nation, because for one thing, Adams is still among the best receivers in the NFL, despite undergoing a disjointed year in Las Vegas in which he played with three different starting quarterbacks, including a fourth-round rookie.
Still, Adams logged 103 catches, 1,144 yards and eight touchdowns, an impressive showing considering the circumstances.
Keeping Adams means the team figures to continue leaning on a defense that showed massive improvement over the course of the season and could get even better with some internal improvement and some free-agent help.
The offense figures to continue to revolve around Josh Jacobs, assuming he does not leave in free agency, and Adams. Improvement on the offensive line could be the main focus there.
Quarterback Decision Looms Over All
But quarterback will be the determining factor in how the Raiders’ season goes next year. That could mean the team hands the reins again to Aidan O’Connell, or that the Raiders bring in a stopgap free agent.
Either way, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that moving up to pick one of the Top 3 QBs in this draft—especially Jayden Daniels of LSU, formerly a recruit of Antonio Pierce during his time at Arizona State—is very much a goal.
“New head coach Antonio Pierce wants to be aggressive in going and getting a franchise quarterback, and owner Mark Davis grilled general manager candidates in that search about how potentially you could move up from No. 13 to get one,” Pelissero reported. “I spoke to Davis at Super Bowl opening night and he told me, ‘Quarterback probably is the most important position on the field, so you’ve got to ask, what is their vision. It’s an important question.’”
One impediment, though, will be the price a team like the Patriots, Commanders or Bears would ask for one of the Top 3 picks. New GM Tom Telesco only traded up one time in the first round in 11 years with the Chargers, Pelissero also noted.
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