Raiders receiver Davante Adams recently spoke with surprising candor regarding his concerns regarding the organization. His only gesture in response to the kerfuffle was to post a photo of himself and G.M. Dave Ziegler with the message, “The Man.”
As someone in league circles pointed out, perhaps Adams was trying to make the point that his issue is with someone else. Someone perhaps not in the photo.
Regardless, the Raiders and Adams seem on the surface to be bound together, thanks to the contract he signed last year. As noted by Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com, an Adams trade would spark a cap charge of $31.4 million this year, or $23.6 million next year.
But let’s not forget June 1. The Raiders could, in theory, trade Adams after June 1, limited the cap charge to $7.85 million this year and $23.6 million in 2024. Alternatively, he could be traded after June 1, 2024, once again cutting the cap charge to $7.85 million, and kicking $15.7 million to 2025.
Adams has a manageable salary of $6.03 million in 2023; he already has received a $20 million roster bonus. If Adams’s agitation is enough to get the Raiders to move on, they could do so with a reasonable cap consequence this year, and a larger (but not crippling) one in 2024.
The money that makes up the $31.4 million in total cap charges has already been spent. It’s gone. Those cap dollars will count against the Raiders’ cap, sooner or later.
If the things Adams said are enough to persuade the organization to move on, it would not be impossible to do so. The question is whether that’s what the team chooses to do — and whether that’s the outcome Adams is trying to instigate.
So where would he go, if traded? The Jets surely don’t have a spot for him, not with so many solid receivers on the roster. The Saints would be an intriguing option, allowing for another reunion with Derek Carr.
Fascinating possibilities, as contenders go, include the Bills and Giants.
Regardless, a trade is not an impossibility. The cap consequence is manageable, and the current cap charge is unavoidable.
The biggest impediment to doing a deal could be the total investment made for what would be one year with Adams. They Raiders have paid him $42.75 million. They gave up a first-round pick and a second-round pick to get him.
They would need a significant haul to justify what was surrendered for a single 17-game, no-playoffs season. If they should get one, maybe they would take it. Again, 12 days from now, the cap consequence won’t be nearly as bad as it would be today.