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Inside the Raiders' decision to acquire WR Davante Adams in trade with Packers

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during a NFC Divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders’ decision to acquire wide receiver Davante Adams in a trade with the Green Bay Packers was fascinating for a plethora of reasons.

From the draft capital it took to acquire the star wideout (first- and second-round picks) to the record-setting contract he signed (five years, $140 million) to his relationship with quarterbacks on both ends of the deal (the Packers' Aaron Rodgers, who just signed his own record-breaking contract extension, and the Raiders' Derek Carr, who has yet to agree to an extension) to his own skill level as perhaps the top wide receiver in the NFL, there was a lot to unravel from the move that went down nearly two weeks ago.


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One overlooked aspect in retrospect was that new head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler, both of whom came to Las Vegas from New England, were willing to make a giant splash early in their joint tenures in Las Vegas with an un-Patriots-like move, not only shelling out two high draft picks but also giving a massive deal to the player they acquired.

But Ziegler, talking to PFF poolside at the NFL Annual Meeting held in West Palm Beach, Florida, earlier this week, was confident in the deal for a few reasons.

“You're debating, you're new to a team, so there's a team-building aspect,” the former Patriots director of player personnel said. “There's always a team-building aspect, but obviously, when you start a new team you're focusing on getting types of players that fit your system. Sometimes that could be similar to what the system was before, but sometimes that's different, too. In our case, it was different. So you're looking at two high-end draft picks and those have value, and those have value to add players that fit your system.”

The Raiders’ on-field product will look Patriots-like this season with McDaniels, a former New England offensive coordinator, at head coach, Mick Lombardi, an ex-Patriots wide receivers coach, at offensive coordinator and Patrick Graham, a longtime New England defensive assistant coach, as defensive coordinator, among other assistants from the Patriots' coaching tree.

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