Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023 | 5 p.m.
Davante Adams didn’t further enflame chatter about four-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers potentially joining the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason on Sunday at the Pro Bowl Games. He didn’t extinguish it either.
Adams made a stir on twitter earlier this week when he responded to a question about which neighborhood Rodgers is moving to in town by saying, “Mine.” Some took that to mean that serious discussions had begun between the Raiders and Green Bay Packers about a potential trade, but Adams wouldn’t go that far in his first time speaking to media since the post.
“Would I be interested in having Aaron Rodgers throw to me? Yes, I would love that,” Adams said. “I’m first-team All Troll so don’t take none of that too serious, but I would love to have that. That would be a dream scenario, one that I’m very familiar with. But anything you see on twitter that’s not a tell on anything. That’s just wishful thinking and messing around.”
Rodgers did not make the 2023 Pro Bowl Games, but Adams did play alongside the only other quarterback he’s ever had as a teammate in the NFL one last time. Derek Carr started the final of three 7-on-7 flag football games, in which the AFC came in with a 21-15 lead built from the rest of the competitions throughout the week but ultimately lost 35-32.
Carr got a hometown farewell roar at Allegiant Stadium and played alongside three teammates in Adams, running back Josh Jacobs and edge rusher Maxx Crosby in the final game. Punter A.J. Cole was also on hand but his services were not needed in the 50-yard flag football game.
Carr was the first player out of the locker room at the conclusion of the event, bolting the venue he called home for the last three seasons before speaking to media.
That left the Raiders talking more about their potential incoming quarterback than their outgoing one, and Adams, Crosby and Jacobs all endorsed Rodgers.
“It’s A-Rod, you feel me?” running back Josh Jacobs said when asked about Rodgers. “That’s Aaron Rodgers. If he were to come over, I feel like that would change the aspect of a lot of things.”
Rodgers spent the weekend competing in the PGA Tour’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which he won on Sunday, as social media videos showed him smiling as fans chanted “Raiders” during his walks in between shots.
“A lot of Raider fans are encouraging me,” Rodgers said in an interview shown on CBS. “A lot of, ‘Davante misses you’ comments. We’re having some fun with it.”
In eight seasons with Rodgers as his quarterback in Green Bay — including the playoffs — Adams caught 741 passes for 9,031 yards and 81 touchdowns. Some speculated that their relationship had soured as part of the reason why Adams sought a trade to Las Vegas last offseason, but the receiver always continued to speak highly of his one-time quarterback.
Adams has said Rodgers had nothing to do with his decision to leave the Packers, and might be proving it more by openly recruiting him to come to the Raiders.
“We’ll keep that behind closed doors,” Adams answered when asked if he had talked with Rodgers recently.
Las Vegas still has several options at quarterback. The Raiders could pursue a free agent, use its current No. 7 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft on the position or resign Jarrett Stidham who started the final two games of the year in place of Carr.
Despite being one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Rodgers doesn’t come without risk.
He will turn 40 years old near the end of next season, traditionally an age when quarterbacks start to decline. But Tom Brady, set to turn 46 years old before the start of next season, was widely considered to be coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler’s top choice before he announced his retirement earlier this week.
Crosby said he hoped Brady would be the Raiders’ quarterback next season during an appearance on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast.
“I was just being honest, and he ends up retiring a day later so it is what it is,” Crosby said. “I just want a great quarterback who’s a leader, a hard worker.”
Rodgers would also fit the bill and Crosby gave an “of course” answer similar to Jacobs when asked if he would welcome the veteran quarterback in Las Vegas.
Both Adams and Crosby said the Raiders have kept them in the loop with major personnel plans and that they feel their opinion is valued. Jacobs is an impending free agent, but he hopes to be back with the Raiders.
Both Adams and Crosby have said they hope Jacobs is back with the franchise for a fifth season. Maybe now with a future Hall of Fame quarterback.
“There’s a lot of conversations to be had still in the near future so we’ll see what happens but that’s obviously something I’m going to be talking about,” Adams said of reuniting with Rodgers.