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Silver Minings: Dave Ziegler reveals thought process on Davante Adams trade

“You’re looking at two high-end draft picks and those have value...to add players”

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Arguably the most talked-about transaction during this year’s NFL offseason has been the Las Vegas Raiders trade for wide receiver Davante Adams. That’ll happen when two premium picks, Nos. 22 and 53 overall, are given up for one of, if not the best wideout in the game. Not to mention the record-setting contract extension the Raiders gave Adams.

With so many people weighing in, there is bound to be a wide variety of takes or opinions on the deal. Some will say a player of Adam’s caliber is worth any combination of draft picks and money, while others claim it’s a bad deal to allocate so many resources for one player who doesn’t even play the most important position on the field.

Part of the rationale for people who argue the latter is that Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots, Dave Ziegler’s and Josh McDaniels’ former boss and employer, wouldn’t make the same transaction. Even if that is the case, Ziegler spoke to Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed at the NFL’s Annual Meeting last week and was confident in his decision-making.

“You’re debating, you’re new to a team, so there’s a team-building aspect,” the former Patriots director of player personnel said. “There’s always a team-building aspect, but obviously, when you start a new team you’re focusing on getting types of players that fit your system. Sometimes that could be similar to what the system was before, but sometimes that’s different, too. In our case, it was different. So you’re looking at two high-end draft picks and those have value, and those have value to add players that fit your system.”

Las Vegas’ new general manager has no problem using his thought process to make decisions on how to put together his team instead of trying to borrow someone else’s. Also, it’s important to note that Adams is probably the best non-quarterback to get traded in recent years.

In his article, Kyed went on to point out that there have been 15 trades where a team gave up a first-round pick, without getting another back in a swap, for a non-QB since 2018. Of those 15, the Raiders’ new wideout had the highest PFF WAR (0.77) in his previous season.

Ziegler went on to peel back the curtain a little more on his decision-making, and while he doesn’t cite the figure above, Adam’s pedigree played into the general manager’s thought process:

“You wrestle with the draft picks and all that type of stuff, but that’s what made this situation a little bit of an easier decision because two things really. It was a great player and a great person. So that’s what really helped that decision along because you know you’re getting now one of your best players and one of your most highly compensated players is also going to be one of your best workers and best teammates.

“That’s a good equation in team building. When your best players, obviously unless they’re on a rookie contract, eventually they become your more highly compensated players. Then if you have those players, that they’re also your hardest workers, team-oriented — Maxx Crosby’s this way, too — I think that’s a really important part of roster building. It doesn’t always ideally work out that way. A lot of times it doesn’t, but in this case being able to acquire a player like that, who also has a … longstanding body of work of high production, those players are hard to get. You don’t get those players very often.”

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