Davante Adams’ dissatisfaction with the Las Vegas Raiders’ recent performance was an open secret. While he clarified on Thursday that he wasn’t celebrating the dismissal of head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager David Ziegler earlier in the week, he expressed the need for change in a team currently struggling with a 3-5 record.
“In no way should this be mistaken for a celebration of the new coach and the changes that were made,” Adams told reporters, as reported by The Athletic. “Clearly, I believe it was time for some sort of change, one way or another, to inject some energy and revitalize the team.”
Adams was among the Raiders’ players who voiced their frustrations during a team meeting before Monday’s game in Detroit, which ended in a disheartening prime-time loss and ultimately led to leadership changes. During that game, Jimmy Garoppolo had a challenging performance, missing Adams twice for potential long touchdowns. Following McDaniels’ firing, the Raiders also benched Garoppolo in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell.
Adams himself had an off night, dropping a pass, and he is not having a typical season by his high standards. In eight games, he has 47 catches for 539 yards and three touchdowns. If he maintains this pace for the rest of the season, it would be his worst statistical output since 2019, when he was limited to 12 games with the Packers.
Adams mentioned on Thursday that the current goal is to ease the tension within the Raiders’ facility, and there already seems to be a change in the team’s atmosphere. Several players, including Adams and Ameer Abdullah, were seen casually playing Nerf basketball and joking around during the team’s open-locker period on Thursday. Adams even humorously commented that if word got out about the players having fun, it might be cited as a reason for their struggles.
“I think it’s more of a mindset that we are trying to foster, not to force, but to have moving forward—being as positive as possible,” Adams explained. “I think that’s the mindset we have right now. We want to have fun and enjoy our time on the field. As we talk to each other, it feels like we’ve been working too hard not having enough fun. We need to get back to that.”
Despite any potential disagreements between Adams and McDaniels, the star receiver made sure to express his gratitude to his former coach and Ziegler for their role in bringing him to Vegas. The Raiders acquired Adams in a significant trade with the Packers in March 2022 and promptly signed him to a $141.25 million extension.
“Before I say anything else, I want to express my appreciation to Josh and Dave for bringing me here and going through what they did to make this happen for me,” Adams told reporters. “I’m truly thankful to them because if they hadn’t fought as hard as they did to make this happen, who knows how things would have turned out? It might not have been the fairy tale ending we all hoped for, but at the end of the day, you can’t dwell on ‘what if’ scenarios.”
There had been speculation that Adams might be traded before the trade deadline, but he remained with the Raiders. He also made it clear that despite the challenges he and his team have faced, his desire to stay hasn’t wavered.
“As I’ve said many times, I want to be a Raider,” he affirmed. “So, I’m committed to making this work and doing everything I can to keep it going.”