The first several weeks of the offseason have featured nothing short of a whirlwind of movement. The AFC West is at the forefront with several notable roster moves, such as the Davante Adams trade to the Las Vegas Raiders and J.C. Jackson to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The rivalry is ramping up more intensely as the Raiders and Chargers continue to retool before the 2022 season. Jackson has already led himself to unwisely send verbal barbs toward the Raiders’ new star wideout.
AFC West has become a stacked division
The wild NFL offseason has heavily featured AFC West teams making notable roster moves to keep up with each other.
The Denver Broncos got the ball rolling by acquiring star quarterback Russell Wilson, followed by landing pass rusher Randy Gregory. The Chargers responded by landing former Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack to pair with Pro Bowler Joey Bosa. Los Angeles then signed J.C. Jackson to beef up their secondary to better compete against the other talented quarterbacks in the division.
Meanwhile, the Raiders haven’t been quiet by signing Pass rusher Chandler Jones and trading for star wide receiver Davante Adams. Although the Chiefs parted ways with Tyreek Hill, the team signed former Pro Bowler JuJu Smith-Schuster and has over $28 million in salary-cap space to add another wide receiver.
All that didn’t take long for the Raiders’ newest star wideout to experience some trash talk.
J.C Jackson foolishly trash talks Raiders star Davante Adams
Adams’ arrival to the Raiders quickly put him in line for the intense competition within the now stacked AFC West. The division features all four teams holding realistic playoff aspirations.
All that didn’t take long for the star wide receiver to experience his first dose of trash talk as a Raider, as Chargers’ new cornerback J.C. Jackson issued a stern warning.
“They better be ready for us,” said Jackson, per Tyler Dragon of USA Today. “I don’t want to talk about him. They better be ready for us.”
Jackson’s tremendous self-confidence is quite apparent, especially after signing his five-year, $82.5 million deal. His 25 interceptions over his first four seasons are the most since entering the NFL in 2018. Meanwhile, Adams likely won’t budge from these remarks as he’s heard it before from other top defensive backs.
The Pro Bowl wideout went back and forth with Los Angeles rams star Jalen Ramsey before their divisional-round matchup in 2021. Although Ramsey played tight coverage, Adams caught all five targets for 41 yards in the Packers’ win.
He isn’t a stranger to trash talk, letting his performance on the field speak for itself. With Adams and Jackson signing five-year deals, they have plenty of chances to match up at least twice a year for the next several seasons.
Davante Adams and Raiders are up for the challenge
The already budding intensity underlines the fierce competition that will embody each divisional matchup.
Every AFC West team possesses a quarterback that has proven he can lead them to the playoffs. The Raiders are coming off their first postseason berth in five years and have stepped up their efforts by reshaping the coaching staff and roster to keep up with the rest of the division.
Adams will play a massive part in the offensive game plan, as he’s the best wide receiver the franchise has had since Amari Cooper. Las Vegas is hoping the 29-year-old will bring balance to the offense while making his combination with Derek Carr one of the league’s most lethal passing game duos.
“This is the best division in football right now,” Adams said via USA TODAY Sports. “It’s loaded. It’s not gonna be easy, but it’s something I’m looking forward to. I’m always looking forward to a challenge. The Chargers added a few more pieces and obviously, we are stacked over here.”
The Raiders wouldn’t have acquired Adams if they didn’t believe that they could compete in what may now be the league’s toughest division. Time will tell, but the franchise is full steam ahead with competing for a second straight playoff berth.