“Pick your poison, and it will be anybody’s day.”Davante Adam, wide receiver, on joining the Las Vegas Raiders’ trio of 100-plus pass-catchers.
HENDERSON (Nev.) — Davante Adams was acquired by the Raiders in a massive trade on March 18, after eight seasons with Green Bay Packers. He has accumulated at least 100 passes in each of his four previous seasons.
Tight end Darren Waller established a Raiders single season franchise record of 107 receptions in his Pro Bowl Season of 2020.
Hunter Renfrow, a Pro Bowl slot man, caught 103 balls last year, the Raiders’ most wide receivers since Hall of Famer Tim Brown’s 104 in 1997.
In fact, only once in NFL history have there been three authors of at minimum one 100-catch season. That was the 2010 Baltimore Ravens with T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Derrick Mason) and Anquan Boldin.
Adams’ advice to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is to oppose secondaries in the coming fall. After a conversation with Josh McDaniels, Adams referenced the six-time AFC West champion Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Derek Carr. Adams also referred to All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce (since traded) and wideout Tyreek Hill, who were both explosive pass-catchers.
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“It’s like, ‘Who are you going to double[-team]?'”Adams had 111 catches for 2018, 115 for 2020, and 123 in 2017, with Aaron Rodgers tossing his ball. “‘Are you going to double Tyreek? Well, 200 [yards are] going to Kelce. You going to double Kelce? Then you already know how that’s going to go on Tyreek’s end.’
“I am a secure wide receiver so I know what I bring. Derek said, “Don’t put any pressure on me.” [the]It’s either ball or nothing. We don’t have the obligation to please anyone or the media. Let’s just do it the same way we did before. I mean, [we]A pretty solid resume was created in college. Although this isn’t college, we still have that connection. [we’re]We look forward to displaying it.”
In case you missed it — and, really, how could you? — Carr and Adams lit up Mountain West Conference scoreboards and stat sheets back in 2012 and 2013 for Fresno State. Adams caught a combined 233 passes for 3,031 yards and 38 TDs in those two seasons, with Carr passing for a combined 9,187 yards and 87 TDs in that time frame.
Adams’ extension — he signed a five-year, $140 million contract with $65.67 million guaranteed with the Raiders after they gave the Packers their first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft — reset the receiver market and, essentially, forced the Chiefs to move Hill out of the division. Makes the Fresno State reunion a win-win for Las Vegas, no?
Chemistry is key for Carr, and lest you forget, he forged some with Waller with those 107 catches (on 145 targets) for 1,196 yards and nine TDs two years ago.
Last year, with Waller missing five late-season games after injuring his back and a knee in a Thanksgiving Day win at the Dallas Cowboys, Renfrow became more than a novelty act; he evolved into a dangerous security blanket for Carr.
Darren Waller (107 receptions in 2020) and Hunter Renfrow (103 in 2021) will team with Davante Adams to give the Raiders three players with at least one 100-catch season. Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
His route running coming off the line of scrimmage was on point, and the thought, especially with McDaniels calling the plays, as he did with the New England Patriots, is that Renfrow will morph into a Wes Welker/Julian Edelman hybrid.
“Hunter? I mean, people tell me how much they can teach Hunter.” Adams mused, “I’m like, “He might have been able to teach us a few things, man.”
“Dude, he’s a young player, but he’s definitely seasoned. And everything I’ve heard from all these guys around here has been amazing from Derek, too. So, nothing but good things ahead.”
A pair dynamic receivers and an end with tight skills and speed, and wideout skills?
It should be Carr this year.
However, the division is awash with QB talent with Russell Wilson joining Denver Broncos as a Denver Broncos quarterback to face Carr. The Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert, and the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes — who may have lost Hill, but gained JuJu Smith–Schster — are part of the AFC West’s ever-escalating race to find talent across the board.
Chandler Jones, an edge rusher joined the Raiders with Pro Bowl defensive MVP Maxxcrosby. Bradley Chubb is teaming with Randy Gregory, a pass-rusher with the Broncos. Outside linebacker Khalil MacKenzie was traded to Chargers who signed J.C. Jackson in free agent to bookend with Joey Bosa. The Chiefs still have defensive tackle Chris Jones, and defensive end Frank Clark.
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The AFC West is a beast.
“This is the best division in football right now,”Adams. “Honestly, it’s loaded. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s definitely something I’m looking forward to. I’m always looking for a challenge. The Chargers added a few more pieces. Obviously, we’re stacked over here, so it’s exciting to see what’s ahead, man. I’m looking forward to it.”
Jackson has already noticed Adams.
“They better be ready for us,”Jackson said. “I don’t want to talk about him. They better be ready for us.”
March trash talk. That’s a different kind of poison.