Because the Patriots failed to sign, trade for, or draft a game-changing wide receiver that they have needed for some years now, it's clear they will continue to be the leading team involved in rumors for top wide receivers until they finally get their hands on one.
That's the case again as the offense continues to struggle in the first three weeks of the season, and a new wide receiver has seemingly expressed his unhappiness with his current team.
Although there's no indication that the Raiders are even exploring potentially trading him at this time, rumors have begun to fly about the future of Davante Adams in Las Vegas. It's not exactly a new rumor, as his possible unhappiness with the team became a topic of conversation after the controversial cut of longtime quarterback Derek Carr earlier this year, whom Adams is friends with.
But that appears to have been just talk until now.
Because the Raiders' season hasn't gone according to plan, losing their second straight game in week three, Adams expressed his displeasure during his post-game media availability last Sunday.
Although he clarified his comments a few days later, it wasn't shocking to hear that things aren't as peachy as they may appear in Las Vegas.
There has been a growing concern surrounding the aftermath of Carr's release since it has been alleged that several players were unhappy with how the whole situation transpired. On top of that, there have been continuous issues with Josh McDaniels since he became the Raiders head coach, a strong parallel to his first stint at the position with the Broncos in 2009.
With all of this in mind, the idea of Adams wanting out of Las Vegas has made the rounds online and in sports media, with many floating potential landing spots for the receiver if he were to be traded this season.
The Patriots, of course, have been one of the primary teams discussed to go after Adams if he became available. Not just because they could certainly use a receiver of his caliber but also because of the Belichick and McDaniels connection that makes a deal seem more likely than not.
That's seemingly what Dan Orlovsky used as the basis of his argument when discussing the Patriots as a good trade partner if the Raiders entertained trade offers on an episode of First Take earlier this week.
"If you watch New England play right now, the tight ends are fantastic. The offensive line is good enough. Mac is back to being Mac Jones. They’re using Zeke (Ezekiel Elliott) the right way. The defense is awesome. If they had one deep-threat receiver, one guy who can make one play downfield, this would be a playoff team and there’s no question about it because Davante is so great. I think he immediately makes them not only a playoff team — I think they would legit contend in that division."
Any Patriots fan would probably be on board with this move, especially since they have long shared their desire to see an ultimate game-changing weapon on the offense for years. Because it seems clear Belichick won't be drafting a top receiver any time soon, most have assumed the most likely scenario would be pulling off a blockbuster trade.
Who better than Davante Adams to accomplish that? The problem is how much it would cost to make it happen.
Just last year, Adams signed a five-year, $140 million contract extension that keeps him tied to the Raiders through the 2026 season. He has a decent cap hit of $14.7 million for the 2023 season, but that continues to rise over the next three seasons, with the bulk of the contract coming in 2025 and 2026 at $44.1 million each year.
So other than that being a potential setback, there's also his age. He will be 31 in December, which isn't ideal. However, he hasn't shown any signs of decline or slowing down, making it seem less of a factor when offering a trade package.
If the money is the main issue, the Patriots will have the cap on their side next year as they are expected to have between $97 million and $120 million, depending on the source you use. That would allow them to sign a hefty contract that Adams comes with and provide an opportunity to spread out the rest over the next few years.
It all sounds great as a hypothetical situation, and it seems likely it will remain that way. Although things may not end well for Adams in Las Vegas if things continue the way they have this season, it's difficult to envision Belichick giving up everything but the kitchen sink to acquire any player at any point, even if he is one that would dramatically better the team better.