Davante Adams didn’t come to Las Vegas to be a decoy.
While he’s happy to see his teammates benefit from the attention he receives from defense, he joined the Raiders — via a trade — to make a more tangible impact. And right now, he’s neither making contributions on the field nor helping his teammates win their matches.
And that just doesn’t suit him.
After not speaking to the media following the Raiders’ win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, the wide receiver finally acknowledged the elephant in the room.
He’s frustrated with his lack of effort and a weak Las Vegas offense that hasn’t gotten better in the first third of the season.
“I’m sure people are thinking, ‘Well, they won the game.’ They won the Packers game. Why is there a problem? I mean, you see why it’s a problem,” Adams said. “You all know who I am and what I’m about right now. If you are a player like me, wins and losses are not my yardstick; it is great.
“When I go out there, I expect to have the ability to capture that on tape and have an impact on the game.”
The irritation makes perfect sense. He is by far the highest paid player on the roster, and the offense has received most of the payroll…but has only scored 20 points once this season. And that was largely thanks to Maxx Crosby’s sack, which provided security for Patriots quarterback Mac Jones in the final moments of the team’s game.
“I’m one of the main people responsible for why this offensive is going to happen,” Adams said. “If I don’t understand it, then obviously it’s not according to plan.” That’s why we want to keep working the way we’re doing to get this right.
“I’m not naive. At the end of the day, it’s not easy to trust someone who has the same coverage as me.”
The offense has not scored more than two touchdowns in any game, is 3-3 and is not considered a serious threat to the Kansas City Chiefs, even though Las Vegas is second in the AFC West. Worse, Adams targets and receptions have taken a nosedive over the last two weeks.
Against the Green Bay Packers, Adams had four scores and four receptions for 45 yards against his former team. The 30-year-old caught two of his five targets for 29 yards against the Patriots. The Raiders only had one game with a 100-yard receiver — Adams had 172 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers — and that was it.
That could be more of a challenge since quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is injured and out for the team’s game against the Chicago Bears this week.
At the end of the day, Adams is all about helping the team, and he can’t do that if he’s not even being targeted. Without his inclusion, the offense is no better. Obviously there’s a difference between future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers and his former college teammate Derek Carr getting him the ball, but the Raiders and head coach Josh McDaniels need to find a way to bring their star receiver into the mix when they want the offense to improve.
“I came here to win and do it right,” Adams said. “If it doesn’t look the way it’s supposed to look, I’ll be frustrated. I have the opportunity to change that and make the picture look a lot better out there.”