HENDERSON, Nev. — Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams said Wednesday he wants to return to the Las Vegas Raiders next season — despite the apparent impending departure of his good friend Derek Carr and an underwhelming season by a team expected to return to the playoffs — and also hopes to be kept in the loop by coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler when it comes to choosing next season’s quarterback.
“Yeah, absolutely, I wouldn’t have been here or ended up here, originally, probably if Derek wasn’t here,” Adams said in his weekly media conference. “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t be here in the event that he’s not here. That’s my boy. Obviously, I’ve got his back through anything. I think I’ve made that more than clear that this point. I support him and I support everything that he has moving forward as well.
“But my dream was to play for this team before he was a Raider, and at this point I want to try to make this thing work and continue on doing what I’m doing here, myself get better and see the team grow and get better as well.”
Adams, who grew up an Oakland Raiders fan in Palo Alto, California, was acquired in a blockbuster March trade with the Green Bay Packers for first- and second-round draft picks and signed a five-year extension averaging $28.5 million per season with $67.5 million guaranteed, to reunite with his quarterback at Fresno State in Carr. The Raiders, who would be on the hook for $40 million should Carr get injured, benched the ninth-year veteran last week for the season’s final two games and instead started Jarrett Stidham. Carr, in a mutual decision, has remained away from the team since last Wednesday.
Stidham passed for 365 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions, in the Raiders’ 37-34 overtime loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, while Adams caught seven passes for 153 yards, his second-highest total of the season, and two touchdowns.
On the season, Adams has 95 catches for a franchise-record 1,443 yards (Hall of Famer Tim Brown had 1,408 receiving yards in 1997) and an NFL-leading 14 TD catches. He was named to his sixth straight Pro Bowl and is in line for his third consecutive first-team All Pro selection.
“He hasn’t missed a practice, like literally very few reps, the entire year,” McDaniels said of Adams. “So, to put in that kind of work and that kind of effort and that kind of dedication to his craft when he’s already achieved whatever he’s achieved prior to being here, I think that just speaks to how incredible the person is. And he’s been that way every day that we’ve been with him.
“He wants to do things the right way every time he walks in the building. It’s a great representative, a great example to the young players that are trying to figure it out — if you want to emulate somebody, he would be a really good one to follow.”
Besides Stidham, a fourth-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2019 who will be a free agent after Saturday’s finale against the Kansas City Chiefs (13-3), the Raiders (6-10) are expected to be linked to the likes of potential free agents Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, both of whom have experience in McDaniels’ system.
“Me, Josh, Ziggs, we’ve all got a really good dynamic and it’s something that I really appreciate, and I’ve mentioned it to them as well,” Adams said of wanting to be kept abreast of a potential QB chase. “They don’t have to do anything — I’m not a part of the front office — but they know the reason why I came here. And a step like this is something that means a lot to me and my personal career and what I’m trying to chase as far as the ultimate pursuit, to get that ring.
“We’ve got a good understanding for each other and that helps this whole process.”