Sports: Trio of key Raiders arrive at camp with team-first mentality

Davante Adams humble to learn in first year with Raiders

  Davante Adams humble to learn in first year with Raiders HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Davante Adams might be considered the best receiver in the NFL. His highly decorated resume speaks for itself, and he may have already authored a Hall of Fame career. But in his first year with the Las Vegas Raiders, with a new coaching staff and offensive system in place, the ninth-year pro has no problem being back in the classroom. “Obviously, it’s different any time you change places, but I’ve been enjoying it, it’s been really cool, teammates welcomed me with open arms right out the gate,” Adams said after practice Sunday. “I always feel that I can get better, I know I can get better so that’s always been my mentality.

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — As chants of “R-A-I-D-E-R-S!” rang out from five tents filled with fans during Wednesday’s practice at the team’s facility, the sight of three key Las Vegas players making plays ignited further roars of applause.

  Trio of key Raiders arrive at camp with team-first mentality © Provided by The Canadian Press

Tight end Darren Waller hauled in a pass on an out pattern at one end of the field. At the other, running back Josh Jacobs juked linebacker Denzel Perryman during a short pass route. Shortly later, Perryman forced a fumble with a huge hit on the goal line.

And while they’re leaders in their respective units — and the trio comes with no guarantees for their futures with the team — all three had similar mindsets during the first week of camp.

Fantasy football rankings for 2022: Colts' Jonathan Taylor grabs No. 1 overall spot

  Fantasy football rankings for 2022: Colts' Jonathan Taylor grabs No. 1 overall spot Look for a run on running backs early in this season's fantasy drafts. They should rule the first two rounds, according to our preseason Top 200 rankings.To help you dominate your league this season, USA TODAY Sports' special 2022 fantasy football preview issue is now on sale. In it, you'll find player profiles, stats projections, depth charts, draft tips, sleepers and busts, rookies to watch and a mock draft from our panel of fantasy experts.

“I’m focused on playing right now,” said Waller, who ranks second among tight ends since 2019 with 252 receptions and 3,006 yards receiving. “My agent handles that. Whatever is going on there is whatever’s going on there. But whatever the outcome is of that, I’m here and I’m playing.”

One of the top players in the NFL at his position, Waller’s $7.5 million annual average value ranks 17th in salary among all tight ends.

And while he’s set to make $6.8 million this season with no guaranteed money left on his deal, others have been locked up.

Defensive end Maxx Crosby signed a $94 million extension in March, quarterback Derek Carr got an extension worth $121 million in April, and receiver Hunter Renfrow received a $32 million extension in June.

Ready for a breakout? Here are 10 NFL players poised to take a leap forward in 2022

  Ready for a breakout? Here are 10 NFL players poised to take a leap forward in 2022 NFL talent evaluators envision these 10 players establishing themselves with big steps forward during the 2022 season. RECORD PROJECTIONS: How will each NFL team finish 2022 season? NFL NEWSLETTER: Sign up now to get football news delivered to your inbox Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams © Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports Rams running back Cam Akers goes through a drill during minicamp at Cal Lutheran University in Los Angeles. People expected big things from Akers last season, but a torn Achilles' tendon sidelined him for much of the year.

Long before that, the Raiders kept two of the top special teams players in the league by extending punter A.J. Cole and kicker Daniel Carlson in December.

Yet Waller, Perryman and Jacobs have been at every practice, preparing for the preseason opener against Jacksonville on Aug. 4 in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.

“I think the fact that we had everyone show up and everybody just going about their work ... speaks a lot to the belief this team has for each other,” Cole said after Wednesday’s practice. “Guys on winning teams get paid, it sort of just works itself out. Being around these guys for a couple years, I really just have so much respect and love for the character they have and the hard work. It just speaks a lot to the buy-in we have, from top to bottom.”

Perryman is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make a base salary of $1.1 million after finishing sixth in the league with a franchise-high 154 tackles last season.

‘Beat my 11’: Cowboys All-Pro CB Trevon Diggs sets lofty goal for 2022 NFL season

  ‘Beat my 11’: Cowboys All-Pro CB Trevon Diggs sets lofty goal for 2022 NFL season Trevon Diggs nabbed 11 interceptions in a breakout 2021 campaign. The Cowboys cornerback doesn't plan on slowing down this season.The Cowboys cornerback had deflected 14 total passes as a rookie, three of which he secured for interceptions. That fell short of his standard.

“My agent Ron Butler is handling that — I just want to play football,” said Perryman, whose career season earned him his first Pro Bowl selection in 2021.

With Jacobs, who won a national championship with Alabama in 2017 and was drafted 24th overall in 2019, it was a matter of the team announcing it wasn’t exercising a fifth-year option. Every NFL draft choice signs a four-year contract, with each first-round selection’s contract including a team option for a fifth season.

Jacobs isn’t taking it personal.

“I really don’t too much think about it, honestly,” said Jacobs, whose 3,087 yards rushing leads all rushers drafted since 2019. “I’m a firm believer in the work that you put in is going to pay off for itself. And I had to be here either way. And this is where I want to be. So, I didn’t have no problem with it. (It) gave me more of a reason to come in every day, jell with the guys, and work, so that’s how I looked at it.”

Waller said while he remains focused on his time in Las Vegas, “whether it’s 10 years or whatever,” and he continues to do his job on the field while his agent negotiates with the team, he acknowledged it can be tedious when trying to compartmentalize with an attempt to focus solely on football.

“As a human being, you want to think about things like that,” Waller said. “I feel like adopting the mindset of when I’m here, what can I give to the team? As opposed to what I can get. ... We’re humans and we can get distracted, but I feel like taking that approach has definitely helped me to focus on just what I can do within the day here.”

___

Freelance writer Poppy Cartledge contributed to this report.

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

W.g. Ramirez, The Associated Press

Josh Jacobs trade rumors: Raiders coach Josh McDaniels says team has 'no desire' to deal running back .
Josh Jacobs trade rumors: Raiders coach Josh McDaniels says team has 'no desire' to deal running backSo when running back Josh Jacobs saw 11 snaps, rushing the ball five times and catching two passes in the Raiders' preseason opener against the Jaguars, it didn't take long for speculation to swirl about what it meant for the former Pro Bowl running back.

See also