Davante Adams recently delivered some strong words regarding his status among elite NFL receivers and his standing with the Raiders front office of general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels.
The latter -- published in a piece for The Ringer -- didn't seem exactly like a glowing assessment. Given time to craft a response, Adams deflected blame Thursday, assuring reporters everything is wonderful in Las Vegas, and his comments were simply overblown.
"At the end of the day, like I said a couple times now, I'm ecstatic to get to work with the new guys," Adams said. "Jimmy (Garoppolo) is a great guy. Love him to death. I didn't know him very well before he got here, but getting to work together a little bit, being around each other, getting to know him, he's a great guy. Definitely excited about getting to work with him and everybody else that's in here.
"As far as the front office, I haven't had a relationship in the past -- this is 10 years for me in this game -- and I haven't had a relationship like I've had with those guys. Everything gets taken out of context. I wouldn't be here. I told you guys right after the Derek (Carr) thing I was here to stay and wasn't going anywhere. You can grab something and run with it if you want to get clicks. That's what people often do with me and things that I say. Whether I misspeak or if I speak up. But at the end of the day, I'm a Raider and I'm excited to be here.
"I love my head coach, and I love the general manager here and everybody, from the top to the bottom. So I have no reason to lie. One thing I don't do is B.S., so I'm not gonna make anything up when it comes to that. I'd rather keep my mouth closed if I have negative things to say. But when I say that these are some good men in this place, that I really value the relationship that I have with them, I mean that. That's about all that needs to be said for that."
Adams' words Thursday were certainly more positive than what was published, in which he didn't shy from admitting his 2022 performance was especially important to him because it was his first season played without Aaron Rodgers. In the piece, he also said he wasn't quite on the same page with Ziegler and McDaniels as it pertained to the direction of the team, explaining "we don't exactly see eye to eye on what we think is best for us right now."
This isn't uncommon. Players often don't agree with what the decision-makers do with the team, whether out of personal motivation or a difference in philosophy. McDaniels spoke on the matter earlier Thursday, telling reporters he and Adams "have a great relationship."
But Adams' words caused some alarm because they came just months after Ziegler and McDaniels pushed Adams' buddy, Carr, out of the organization.
Adams' move to Las Vegas made for what was seen as a dream pairing between former college teammates. It produced an All-Pro season for Adams, but not much else, and it ended after 15 games when Carr was benched.
Adams has since been forced to accept his new situation. Carr is gone, and Garoppolo has arrived to replace him on a team that hopes to be better than its third-place finish in the AFC West last year.
Clearly, Adams knew these questions were coming. He responded with a long, but emphatic answer that can be boiled down to a brief summary: I'm not unhappy.
"I've never been encouraged to speak up and share my feelings with the organization like I have with [McDaniels and Ziegler]. I felt that from that first time that I got the call from them right after getting traded, that that's the type of environment I'd be coming into," Adams said. "Just based off what they heard about me. The respect they have for things I've done on the field. And I try to give that respect back.
"Obviously, sometimes things get said and taken out of context, like I said. It's never my intention to bring any type of negative attention or throw off the focus of the team or whatever. Which did not happen, by the way. We got a lot of guys in here that know me well by this point and know my intentions and know I just want to win. I'm here to win the Super Bowl like everybody else is on their team. That's really my only focus."
If it reads like an about-face, well, it kind of is. But at minimum, Adams is quelling any concerns by tamping down rumblings of discontent two months before he embarks on his first season with Garoppolo as his quarterback (provided Garoppolo is ready for camp).
It's a wise business decision made by a player who already admitted he isn't trying to force his way out. Adams knows what he signed up for in Las Vegas, and after letting it slip he might not agree with everything the Raiders are doing, he's making amends, even if it comes with an explanation -- pinning the blame on a lack of context -- that is all too familiar.
Consider the air cleared. Adams isn't going to worry about it, anyway.
"The thing is with me, I'm unapologetically me," he said. "At the end of the day, I truly do not care what people have to say. So when I'm clearing things up and talking about this stuff, a lot of times it's me protecting other people that were involved. Like I don't ever want Jimmy to feel a way, think that I didn't want him here, or that I don't like him. I don't want Josh to feel like -- you know, I post a picture with [Ziegler] -- and then they're like, 'Oh is it Josh that he's -- that must be the real problem!'
"So, y'all can do that. If you're that bored, like, go play Monopoly or some s---."