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Davante Adams satisfied entering 2024 with HC Antonio Pierce leading Raiders

Davante Adams' time in Las Vegas has included plenty of tumult, but after a season in which his head coach was fired on Halloween, the veteran receiver is feeling good about the Raiders' outlook.

It's not difficult to find a reason for Adams' optimism. Look no further than his coach, Antonio Pierce, who took over for the fired Josh McDaniels and led Las Vegas to a 5-4 finish to the 2023 season, bolstering his chances of earning the job permanently.

Adams knew Pierce was the right choice. And he'd stop at nothing to ensure Mark Davis selected Pierce.

"I wouldn't be feeling as good as I do now," Adams said Tuesday on the when asked how he'd feel if Davis hadn't tabbed Pierce for the job. "That's for sure. He's the type of guy that I really enjoy speaking to, working with, so I basically tried to do everything that I could to make it to where the front office didn't have any other choice."

The three-time All-Pro receiver didn't quite give the Raiders an ultimatum, but in concert with his most important teammates, Adams made sure to press Davis to pick Pierce, whose demeanor and coaching style was so different from McDaniels, the Raiders didn't just pat each other on the backs after winning Pierce's first game as interim coach -- they celebrated by smoking cigars.

"I talked to Mark Davis," Adams explained. "We had dinners and sat down and I expressed to him how much it meant to me and how much it meant to the rest of the team. The other part of it is I really didn't even need to do all that, I just wanted to make sure that I didn't leave any stone unturned. I just wanted to approach it and say, 'Hey, I'm fully stamping this.'

"The proof is in the pudding. You see the difference when we made the change. How the players feel. How hard they played. The results you got on the field. Everything was a million times better, so I was really just trying to put the icing on the cake with the help of some other players.

"Josh (Jacobs) was vocal about it, as well. Obviously, he's no longer with us, but he was the same. Maxx (Crosby), we all kind of took the same approach where we kind of said, look, if he's not gonna be here, we're not sure about our future here, either. Just to make sure it was taken seriously, and thank God it worked."

Pierce's past as a player -- a Super Bowl winner with the Giants and one-time Pro Bowl linebacker during nine seasons in the NFL -- likely made for a seamless fit with the locker room, where Raiders gravitated toward a player-friendly leader in the aftermath of McDaniels' firing. Las Vegas heard the pitches from Adams, Crosby and the since-departed Jacobs and took them to heart, removing Pierce's interim tag and delivering them their coach. It's an offseason win, but as with all coaches, the final results will ultimately determine whether it was the right move or not.

As far as Adams is concerned, it was a move the Raiders had to make to sell him on continuing in the desert. Even the money wouldn't have been solely enough, judging by how Adams acted during the Raiders' coaching search.

Now, Adams is happy. Even pitches from his former teammates (Jacobs, plus Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers) won't sway him.

"It was definitely a joke, but it was one of those jokes where he was serious because he definitely would like that," Adams said when asked about Jacobs' text requesting Adams to return to Green Bay. "I told him you go ahead and hold it down. I'm gonna hold it down over here. I don't think I'll be coming back over there. Never know what's gonna happen. If they ship me off, there's not much I can do about it, but I'm a Raider. So nobody got to worry about that."

The same was true for Rodgers, who Adams said is "in that ear."

"It's not as easy as -- obviously we can get together and talk about the old times and potential of doing this and that, but like I said I'm a Raider, and he knows that," Adams said. "Maybe in the next lifetime."

Despite inadvertently , Adams isn't torn over his situation. He's ready to roll. Hopefully the Raiders can make it worth his while.

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