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Davante Adams trade: Raiders make splash

Las Vegas will give Josh McDaniels a definitive answer on Derek Carr

Green Bay Packers v Baltimore Ravens
Davante Adams
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Dave Zielger knew what he had to do in order for Josh McDaniels to get a definitive answer on Derek Carr. Trade for and land the quarterback’s college wide receiver who has developed into one of the NFL’s best pass catchers.

Thus, Davante Adams is pass catcher for the Las Vegas Raiders. He’ll be reunited with Carr to recreate the scintillating Fresno State tag team in the desert. There likely aren’t enough words in the English language to encapsulate how Adams and Carr are feeling right now. But it’s highly likely both are head over heels right now.

But kudos to Zielger. He accomplishes two grand things with this one monumental move for the Raiders. The Silver & Black general manager swung big and hit one out of the park by acquiring Adams from the Green Bay Packers for the Raiders’ 2022 first- and second-round picks (No. 22 and No. 53 overall selections). First, the acquisition fills the cavernous void Vegas had at No. 1 wide receiver. Secondly, and more importantly, bringing Adams in allows McDaniels to see up close and personal if Carr is the quarterback for the considerable future.

McDaniels is the type of play caller and coach that has the ability to get Carr to another level, a new plateau the soon-to-be 31-year-old signal caller hasn’t seen yet. And giving the gunslinger a wide receiver he did marvelous things with in college only makes that much more possible. Carr hooked up with Adams 233 times at Fresno State for 3,031 yards and 38 touchdowns when they were Bulldogs. Since then, Adams blossomed into the go-to target for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. The 29-year-old wideout snared 123 passes for a career-high 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns this past season. 84 of those catches were for first downs.

Even with Rodgers re-signing with the Packers, Adams wasn’t long for Green Bay. He reportedly wanted to get paid what he feels he was due and reunite with the quarterback that slung him the pigskin at Fresno State. That can’t be understated: One of the NFL’s best wide receivers wanted to play with Carr.

And paid did Adams get. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the trade came with a new contract for Adams and the cost is to the tune of $141.25 million over five years. He’ll earn an average of $28.25 million per year.

Ziegler’s biggest splash of the offseason — in his inaugural season as chief personnel man for the Raiders — means there’s no excuses for Carr and the Raiders offense. None.

Las Vegas boasts high-octane upside on offense. Carr is a cerebral and accurate quarterback who gets to throw the rock to Adams, Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller. Red zone woes should be no more and the Vegas offense should be a nightmarish m matchup for many a foe. Just imagine how much fun McDaniels is going to have in the lab formulating plays with that group?

Now before you go ham on me, I’m not ignoring the offensive line, of course, but I highly doubt the Raiders brain trust of Zielger and McDaniels traded for Adams without having a plan of attack for the big uglies up front. You don’t sink that much coin into a wide receiver (and potentially the quarterback — since Carr is on the final year of his deal, too), two skill positions with a suspect offensive line. Trench boss Carmen Bricillo will play an integral role in terms of the Raiders’ success or failures this coming season.

That all said, there are still quality offensive linemen available in free agency and there’s the draft, where Zielger will have picks in the third through seventh rounds. Get the OL squared away, or at least decent, and there’s no excuse for the Raiders offense not to be a Top 10 group in terms of yards gained and points scored. Because we’re just talking about the passing game. Vegas’ ground game is slated to benefit greatly from Adams addition as teams will be wary of loading the box with eight defenders.

Play action is going to be poppin’ for the Silver & Black.

It’s a good thing the Los Angeles Chargers landed cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency — much to the chagrin of Raiders fans — because they’ll need all his talents to counter the move Vegas made by snaring Adams.