More Jamal Adams trade rumors put safety’s Jets tenure in another down cycle

Have you lost count of the mood swings in the relationship between Jamal Adams and the Jets’ front office(s)? If yes, just know that whole thing is veering back toward Splitsville, based on what was reported Thursday.

Talks on a contract extension have stalled, and GM Joe Douglas is doing more than just listening to trade offers, someone (or someones) leaked to veteran NFL scribe Gary Myers and ESPN’s Rich Cimini. More than half the league has expressed interest in a deal, according to Cimini, although Douglas supposedly isn’t intent on moving his All-Pro defender.

Fans remember the drama at last year’s NFL trade deadline when it looked possible that Adams was on his way to his hometown Cowboys. Dallas speculation bubbled up again Thursday along with the leaks, of course. They also remember Adams saying he wants to play in New Jersey for a long time despite that.

It’s understandable that Douglas wouldn’t be interested in an extension right now; he has Adams under team control through 2021 after picking up his fifth-year option at $9.86 million, and he can franchise him for the 2022 season. Adams, naturally, wants to avoid all of that and have a deal done before the start of this season. 

So the sides reportedly aren’t getting along and a trade is once more an option. It’s another “down” following an “up” in the history between player and team.

August 2018

Adams was riding high as the “President” of New Jack City, the nickname given to the Jets’ young, ultraconfident secondary. Adams was entering his second NFL season following a decent rookie campaign. He was seen as the unit’s emotional leader.

“You definitely have to have that swagger out there, that energy,” Adams told SN. “Running to the ball, playing with that nasty mentality. Since . . . I got here, that’s always been the mentality. It’s never a different mentality, in the last year or the previous year. We always have to keep that mentality.”

The unit’s bravado faded. Adams made the Pro Bowl for the first time, but the Jets finished 4-12. Free safety Marcus Maye played in just six games because of injuries, and the pass defense was in the middle of the pack in net yards allowed per attempt. The Jets fired coach Todd Bowles after the season and replaced him with Adam Gase.

Oct. 30, 2019

Douglas abruptly replaced Mike Maccagnan as GM last June; by mid-autumn, the former Eagles exec was doing his due diligence in pursuit of improving the roster. Adams understood Douglas had a job to do, but he was nonetheless “hurt” that the front office would have entertained the thought of a trade.

“I hold myself at a high level. The Rams don’t take calls on Aaron Donald. The Patriots don’t take calls on Tom Brady,” he said post-deadline. 

But Douglas took calls on Adams, and it seems he’s on the phone again.

Nov. 13, 2019

Two weeks after the deadline, there came the “Jet for life” riff. Adams responded to team CEO Christopher Johnson stating his desire to keep Adams in green forever. Adams also vaguely expressed his belief that some larger forces were at play.
 
“It’s a bigger purpose, know what I mean?” he said. “People might not know why right now,  but I fully see it’s a bigger purpose, it’s bigger than me and I want to be a part of it.”

Adams helped spark the Jets to a 6-2 record in the second half of the season after a horrendous 1-7 start. He wound up with a second Pro Bowl nod and his first All-Pro selection. Surely, that effort was worth some money and long-term security.

Jan. 29, 2020

Adams told reporters that negotiations on a new contract had begun. He later clarified on Twitter that the discussions were “small” and the sides weren’t “in detailed talks yet.” Still, “Prez” was looking forward to getting paid.

“I fully expect to be extended this offseason. I want to be in New York!” he wrote.

Pretty good spot for a 24-year-old to be in.

May 20, 2020

Adams is more a “Jet for right now” than a “Jet for life” after Thursday’s leaks. Douglas said at his predraft media availability last month that he had let it be known “the plan would be for Jamal to be here long term,” but he also said he would listen if a team called about a possible trade.

Well, plans often change, and now Douglas may be doing some more talking on those calls that are supposedly coming in.

Was all this leakage an attempt to pull the relationship back to some middle or push it closer to the cliff? Could go either way.

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GM: Jets want to keep safety Adams long-term

  • Longtime Jets beat writer for New York Daily News
  • Syracuse University graduate

The New York Jets say they want disgruntled safety Jamal Adams to be part of their long-term future, but they’re not willing to declare him an untouchable.

Addressing trade speculation, general manager Joe Douglas reiterated Monday the goal is to sign Adams to a contract extension, but he hedged by saying he will listen to offers.

“The plan would be for Jamal to be here long term,” Douglas said in a pre-draft conference call with reporters. “Again, I’ve also made it known I have to do what’s in the best interest of the team. If other teams call to talk about players, I’ll listen.

“Going into this draft, my intent isn’t to move any players. But if a team calls, we’re going to have conversations.”

The All-Pro safety, signed for 2020 and 2021 (option year), apparently is unhappy with his contract situation. ESPN reported last week that Adams is planning to skip the voluntary offseason program, which begins virtually on April 27.

The outspoken Adams hasn’t addressed the matter on social media, but he said in early February that he expects an extension this offseason. He wants to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety, and there are some who believe he wants to be the highest-paid player on the Jets, surpassing linebacker C.J. Mosley ($17 million per year).

Adams is due to make $3.6 million this year. In fact, he already has received $2.8 million in the form of a roster bonus that was paid last month.

Douglas acknowledged that he hasn’t spoken to Adams any time recently, adding, “The plan is going to be to connect at some point after draft.”

Because they control Adams for two years, not counting a potential franchise tag, the Jets are in no hurry to extend his deal. That won’t sit well with Adams, creating the possibility of a standoff.

Douglas declined to comment on whether he has received trade interest from other teams. He entertained offers last fall at the trading deadline — the Dallas Cowboys were one of the teams — which infuriated Adams and prompted him to lash out at Douglas on social media.

By the end of the season, Adams said he had settled his differences with management. He also has stated his desire to remain with the Jets, but there may have been a shift in his attitude due to the lack of progress in contract talks.

“My opinion on Jamal has been consistent since I arrived here,” Douglas said. “Jamal is an unbelievable young player. Our plan is to keep Jamal here for a long time.”

The Jets, who own four picks in the top 79, could add significant draft capital by dealing Adams. But they’d also lose their best player. Adams, 24, a first-round pick in 2017, has made two Pro Bowls and is regarded as their team leader on defense

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