It was an open secret that Davante Adams wasn't happy with the recent direction of the Las Vegas Raiders.
While he made it clear on Thursday that he was not cheering the firing of head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager David Ziegler earlier this week, Adams told reporters that something needed to change with for a team currently in a 3-5 rut.
"At this point, don't get it confused, it's not a celebration that we have a new coach and changes were made," Adams said, per The Athletic. "Obviously, I think it was time one way or the other, it was time for some sort of change. Just to bring a little juice in and revitalize the team a little bit."
Adams was one of the Raiders players who voiced their frustrations during a team meeting prior to Monday's game in Detroit -- which became a dispiriting prime-time loss that lead to changes in leadership. Jimmy Garoppolo had a tough outing that night, overthrowing Adams twice for potential long touchdowns. Following McDaniels' firing, the Raiders also benched Garoppolo for rookie Aidan O'Connell.
Adams also dropped a pass Monday night and isn't having a typical season by his lofty standards. In eight games, he has 47 catches for 539 yards and three scores. If he keeps that pace through the remainder of the season, Adams would finish with his worst statistical output since 2019, when he was limited to 12 games with the Packers.
Adams told reporters on Thursday the goal now is trying to ease the tension around the Raiders' facility, and the vibes around the team already seem to have flipped.
Several players, including Adams and Ameer Abdullah, were seen shooting Nerf hoops and joking around during the team's open-locker period on Thursday. Adams even cracked that when word gets out that the players were having fun, it might be used as evidence why they're not winning more.
"I think it's more of a mindset that we (are) trying to – not force – but just have moving forward to just be as positive as possible," Adams said. "... I think that's kind of the mindset we have. Just try to have fun and enjoy our time on the field. I think, as we speak to each other, there's been too much of this has just been feeling like work too much and not having enough fun. Just got to go back to that."
Even if there were hard feelings between Adams and McDaniels, the wide receiver made sure to thank his former coach and Ziegler for their role in bringing the Pro Bowl receiver to Vegas. The Raiders acquired Adams in a blockbuster trade with the Packers in March 2022 and promptly signed him to a $141.25 million extension.
"Before I say anything else, I just want to say I really appreciate Josh and Dave for bringing me here and going through what they went through in order to make this happen for me," Adams told reporters on Thursday. "I'm really appreciative of them because if they didn't fight as hard as they did to make this happen then who knows how it would have panned out. It didn't end up being the storybook finish that we all hoped that it would be, but at the end of the day you can't live your life saying how 'what if I wouldn't get here, what if they'd never taken the job or make decisions.' …
"I just want to put it out that I appreciate them for this opportunity to get here."
There was speculation that Adams perhaps could be moved ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline. He wasn't, although the Jets were one team that called to check on his availability. Adams also made it clear that even with everything he and his team have been through, he has not changed his stance of wanting to stick around.
"As I've said countless times, I want to be a Raider," he said. "So I want to try to make this work and do everything I can to keep it going."