After the Las Vegas Raiders' Week 3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver Davante Adams aired his frustrations. It was not the first time in recent months he had done so, after saying he didn't see eye-to-eye with the front office during the offseason.
“I don’t got time to wait around. … It’s not a personal thing,” Adams said after the loss. “I mean it is a personal thing, but it ain’t just about me. It’s not my mentality to sit here and try to take all season to figure it out. You use these early games like this to establish our identity. We’re not doing the things the right way to establish a winning culture early in the season, so we gotta do something to turn that around.”
When a wide receiver feels frustration, it's often rooted in not being involved enough and coincidentally or not the team losing. But that is not the case here with Adams. He had 13 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers, and for the season thus far he's top-5 in the league in catches (25), targets (37) and receiving yards (322).
It's a long way from being candid after a tough loss and asking for a trade, but it's fair to say Adams eventually asking out of Las Vegas is within the realm of possibilities.
NFL Trade Rumors: Could the Detroit Lions make a big trade for Davante Adams?
Matt Lombardo of Fan Buzz has offered up list of six potential landing spots for Adams if the Raiders move him. They would take on a $7.85 million dead money hit and clear $6.89 million in cap space this year if they did trade him. The Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns are on the list, along with the Lions.
Here's Lombardo's case for Detroit.
"Detroit has built a young and exciting core, and seems to have an opportunity to pick up the mantle of the NFC's 'next' legitimate contender. Dropping Adams into the Lions' receiving corps would create myriad opportunities for the weapons already in place around Jared Goff."
"Yes, the Lions are getting former first-round talent Jameson Williams back, and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta is averaging 10.3 yards per reception, and is seemingly improving each week. But, There would be few secondaries in the league able to match up against Davante Adams, Amon-Ra St.Brown, Williams, and LaPorta, especially with a versatile running back such as rookie Jahmyr Gibbs coming out of the backfield. Adams would give the Lions' offense a similar feel with similar upside to what the 49ers have built."
There is of course is the matter of the five-year, $140 million contract Adams signed with the Raiders after the Packers traded him there in 2022. But the guaranteed salary in the deal ends in 2024, and there's a palatable out in 2025.
For the Lions, Jameson Williams' looming return to action in Week 7 is a factor in anything they might do to acquire a wide receiver. But he's an unknown quantity until he shows otherwise, and not being able to practice until the week before his season debut is not ideal for him to (metaphorically or otherwise) hit the ground running.
A trade for Adams would be an all-in move for any team, and the Lions don't seem inclined to do something like that. But if general manager Brad Holmes goes into full "villain" mode to take the reigns of the NFC North with eyes on a deep playoff run, the percentage chance rises a bit.
So, sheerly and completely hypothetically at this point, what might a Lions' deal for Adams look like?
The Raiders gave up a first and second-round pick to get Adams, and even a year older now he's still one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. So that's a viable trade cost, and Williams is tacked on in order to recoup a mid-round pick from Las Vegas.
On a very base level, should the Lions consider making a deal for Adams? Yes, absolutely. Will it happen? Probably not, but there's a chance Adams is moved at some point over the next month or so and there's a non-zero chance the Lions make a call as a matter of due diligence.