HENDERSON, Nev. — Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said Thursday that he had no issue with All-Pro receiver Davante Adams venting recently by saying he and the team did not see “eye-to-eye” on the direction of the franchise.
McDaniels said Adams, entering his 10th NFL season, has “an opinion and a voice because [he has] earned it” over the course of his career.
“And I respect the hell out of anything that [he] would say or suggest or anything like that,” McDaniels said. “During the course of the process of trying to improve our team, which, I know where Davante comes from, he’s a competitor. He wants to win, and that’s really his sole focus, and that’s what he does here every day. He’s here pushing himself, pushing his teammates. He’s been a tremendous leader again this spring for our football team.”
Adams, meanwhile, said he was “unapologetically me” while adding that he is sometimes taken out of context while reiterating his “love” for McDaniels and Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler and said he looked forward to catching passes from new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
“I’m ecstatic to get to work with the new guys, and Jimmy’s a great guy, love him to death,” Adams said. “I didn’t know him very well before he got here.
“As far as the front office … I haven’t had a relationship like what I have with those guys … so you can grab something and run with it if you want just to get clicks, and 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, I mean, from the top to the bottom … 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. So that’s about all that needs to be said.”
Adams, a six-time Pro Bowler who has also been named first-team All-Pro the past three seasons, was acquired in a blockbuster trade from the Green Bay Packers last spring and reunited with his college quarterback from Fresno State in Derek Carr.
Carr, though, was benched and left the team with two games remaining in the season. He was released in February before signing with the New Orleans Saints.
The Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a three-year, $72.75 million free agent contract with $45 million guaranteed this offseason. Garoppolo, though, is coming off a left foot injury and has not been on the field for the start of OTAs. McDaniels would not say whether Garoppolo had offseason surgery — The Athletic reported that he did — but said there were no surprises in the quarterback’s rehab.
Adams made his comments about the Raiders’ front office to The Ringer in an article published last week but posted a photo of himself with general manager Dave Ziegler the next day, his arm around Ziegler, with a caption reading: “The man.”
“I’ve never been encouraged to speak up and share my feelings with the organization the way I have with these two guys,” Adams 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.
“I don’t ever want Jimmy to feel a way, think that I didn’t want him here or I don’t like him, or I don’t want Josh to feel like, or I post a picture with Zigs, and they’re like, ‘Oh, is it Josh? That must be the real problem.’
“If you’re that bored, go play Monopoly or some s—.”
“Those things happen, I’d say, all the time, where somebody may have a question or a comment or a discussion is had, and those are the right things to do, and those players have earned it,” McDaniels said. “And so, I have nothing but respect for anybody like that, that has a comment or an opinion like that.
“It’s not really my concern that anybody necessarily adopts every vision that Dave or I have for the decisions that we have to make. Sometimes those are difficult.”