Despite some recent public comments from Davante Adams about his role in the offense, the Las Vegas Raiders aren’t trying to subtract from their roster ahead of the trade deadline.
Speaking to The Athletic’s Dianna Russini recently at the annual fall league meeting, Raiders owner Mark Davis said his team is “trying to win” when asked if they were going to be sellers.
Russini added that people around the league believe the Raiders’ philosophy is “to successfully compete, not tear down.”
The Raiders have actually shown some signs of life lately. They have won back-to-back games after a 1-3 start to get their record back to .500 going into Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
There’s still plenty of evidence to suggest the Raiders aren’t going to be a playoff contender by the time we get to the end of the regular season. They rank in the bottom half of the NFL in points for (16.7) and points allowed (21.8) per game.
Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been injury-prone throughout his career, has already missed one game this season. He’s going to miss at least one more after being ruled out for Week 7 with a back injury.
Russini reported Brian Hoyer will get the start against Chicago with Garoppolo unable to play.
Adams has been open about his unhappiness with how he’s been utilized recently. Here is what he told reporters on Wednesday coming off a game against the New England Patriots in which he had two catches for 29 yards:
“I’m sure people are thinking, ‘They won the game, why is there an issue?’ I mean, you see why it’s an issue. Y’all should know who I am, know what I’m about at this point … when you’re a player like me, mentally, my benchmark is not wins and losses — it’s greatness. So when I go out there, I expect to be able to have that ability to put that on tape and have an influence on the game. That’s my purpose for being here. I’m not here just to hang out; I came here to win and to do it the right way.”
Adams is tied for seventh in the NFL with 59 targets, but he’s only got six catches on nine targets in the past two games after catching 21 passes on 33 targets in Weeks 3 and 4 combined.
It’s especially alarming that head coach Josh McDaniels isn’t trying to single out Adams in the offense given how much Josh Jacobs has struggled after his offseason holdout. The veteran running back is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on 107 attempts.
Russini noted the Raiders have been shopping Hunter Renfrow, who has only played 26 offensive snaps in the past two games combined and are looking to acquire a pass-rusher after releasing Chandler Jones on Sept. 30.
The schedule does line up well for the Raiders to potentially be .500 or better after Week 10. The Bears will start Tyson Bagent at quarterback with Justin Fields unable to play due to a thumb injury.
After that, the Raiders’ next three games are against the Detroit Lions, New York Giants and New York Jets. The Giants and Jets are impossible to predict at this point.
Things will get decidedly more difficult from there with the Raiders playing the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs before their bye in Week 13.
It’s certainly not impossible for the Raiders to hang around in the AFC playoff race for most of the season with this upcoming schedule, but nothing in their performance thus far indicates they will be able to win enough games to do so.