‘Surprise’ 2023 Prediction Has Raiders Seeking to Trade $140 Million Star

Josh McDaniels (left) and general manager Dave Ziegler of the Raiders

Getty Josh McDaniels (left) and general manager Dave Ziegler of the Raiders

In the annals of, shall we say, odd notions presented by ESPN and one of its insiders, Dan Graziano, about the Raiders, this one is especially odd.

Heading into the 2023, on a list of surprise season projections, Graziano says that the silver-and-black could soon find themselves in a position to make a major trade. Not one that brings in significant talent to Las Vegas but, rather, one that sends talent out: The team could deal away its best player, Davante Adams, here in the second year of his five-year, $140 million Las Vegas contract.

Don’t be surprised if … you start to hear wide receiver Davante Adams‘ name thrown around as the trade deadline gets closer in October,” Graziano postulated, before immediately backtracking and writing, “I’m not saying they’ll trade him. I don’t know if they’d even consider it.”

Most likely not, of course. The Raiders have a head coach (Josh McDaniels) and a general manager (Dave Ziegler) who are under heavy pressure to win after taking over a 10-7 team last year and converting it into a 6-11 team. Adams is, by just about any measure, the best receiver in the NFL (Pro Football Focus’ numbers say so), so the Raiders putting him on the trade market seemingly flies in the face of the Raiders’ win-now mentality.

Would Davante Adams Ask out of LV?

Graziano does point out the fact that Adams himself could ask out of Las Vegas. This is not, after all, the Raiders team he thought he was joining when he signed that megadeal to leave Green Bay—Adams wanted to be in Vegas, in part, to play with his friend and college quarterback Derek Carr, his teammate at Fresno. But Carr is now in New Orleans, and dams will catch passes from the more conservative-minded Jimmy Garoppolo.

“The Raiders are likely going to be terrible this season, and Adams went there to play with a quarterback who got benched before Adams’ first season with the team ended and is now in New Orleans,” Graziano wrote. “If he doesn’t believe he fits in the Jimmy Garoppolo-led offense, and if the season in Las Vegas gets off to a bad start, Adams could absolutely start making noise about wanting out.

“And coach Josh McDaniels has never been shy about trading away players he doesn’t believe fit his program.”

But again, it’s Davante Adams, ,who has been All-Pro for three straight years. He’s the NFL’s top receiver. If he does not fit McDaniels’ program, shouldn’t McDaniels change his program?

Offseason More Likely for Davante Adams Trade

Now, there is a better chance that Adams could ask out of Las Vegas, or that the Raiders could seek to trade him, when we get to the 2024 offseason. If, indeed, the Raiders are terrible, hen look ahead to March for a deal to send Adams elsewhere. Graziano acknowledges that.

“It’s far more likely Adams will get traded in the offseason, but October isn’t out of the realm of possibility. He turns 31 in December and has $16.89 million in guaranteed salary on the books for 2024, so it wouldn’t necessarily be easy,” he wrote. “But if he continues to perform like he has, there should be interested teams.”

Should be?