PREZ CAN’T BE TRUSTED
Updated: Sep 2, 2020
My therapist says we should always start with love so here it goes: Jamal Adams is the best safety in the National Football League. Since being drafted by the New York Jets 6th overall in the 2017 draft, Prez has been a human highlight reel. Whether it be blitzing off the edge to get an enormous 3rd down sack or stuffing the run on a crucial 4th and short, his presence is felt on the field. He is by far the Jets best player and the leader of this young team. In his rookie season Adams promised to never miss a pro bowl in his career and so far he has stayed true to his word. In 2018, not only was he a pro bowler, but he was also Second-Team All-Pro at the safety position. He followed up his sophomore campaign with an even more impressive third season by making another Pro Bowl, but took his game to another level by making First-Team All-Pro. Pretty impressive three year run.
Because of this magical start to his career, Jamal Adams is now seeking a lucrative contract extension with two years remaining on his rookie contract. By being drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, Adams' 4 year/$22.25 million contract is fully guaranteed. He is expected to make $3.5 million this year which would be 4th most among strong safeties in the league (15th counting all safeties). Is Jamal worthy of a contract extension? Of course! Is it the right time? Eh, probably not.
The Jets general manager Joe Douglas was hired a little over a year ago. He is a well respected football guy who has worked his way up from "the Turk" in Baltimore to the position he is in now. Along the way he has been a part of three Super Bowl teams in some capacity and has been groomed from some of the games best as in Ozzie Newsome. When he took over this Jets job at what seemed to be a strange time (hired AFTER the 2019 draft), he knew he had a mess to clean up after a decade of incomptence in the front office (cc John Idzik and Mike Maccagnan). One would assume that a main selling point would be the young and upcoming talent the Jets had on rookie deals such as Sam Darnold, Quinnen Williams, Marcus Maye, and oh yeah Jamal Adams. Knowing he had to damn near start from scratch, he was still up for the task to turn this franchise around.
I think anyone familiar with the situation knows that Jamal deserves an extension. Joe Douglas just isn't inclined to do it at this very moment. According to ESPN.com, only 15 of 191 first round selections from 2011-2016 received contract extensions between their third and fourth years in the league. While Jamal has racked up 25 pass breakups, 12 sacks (6.5 in 2019), and two interceptions (1 in garbage time) in his career, the Jets have gone 15-31 in games in which he's played. Take that on top of rumors swirling that he wants to be the highest paid New York Jet and also reel in a contract north of $19 million is a lot to swallow for a new GM trying to set a precedent. Douglas has made mistakes during his first year on the job. Most notably "shopping" around Adams at the 2019 trade deadline. From all accounts, Douglas simply answered the phone when teams acquired about Jamal. Douglas would be a fool not to. With all the holes on this Jets roster, he has to have an open mind with everyone on the roster not named Sam Darnold. Since those deadline whispers, Douglas has made it pretty clear to the Jet fanbase and to the NFL as a whole, he would like to make Jamal Adams a "Jet for life." So what has changed? WE ARE IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC THANKS TO COVID-19! The NFL season is up in the air right now with talks of games played without fans. This would and could drastically affect the salary cap for years to come. I don't know if this will happen, but it definitely should be something to note.
If Jamal wants out, cool. It was a great three years. He is probably the best safety the Jets have ever had. Maybe will ever have. If he is using social media and the national media to get money out of the Jets, I would say be patient. This isn't the way I would handle it, but to each his own. Jamal gave a list of 8 teams that he would like to play for: Ravens, Texans, Buccaneers, Seahawks, 49ers, Eagles, Chiefs, and Cowboys. Of those 8 teams, I think two of the 8 teams are practical landing spots: Eagles and 49ers. The others are either paying a quarterback a boatload of money or are planning to do it in the coming months. But to think that Jamal has any say in this situation is beyond me. You think that if the Jets were offered a first round pick and Yannick Ngakoue from the Jacksonville Jaguars that Joe Douglas would say no? You are out of your mind. I'm not mad that Jamal is trying to take control over his career, but damn I wish he could see how this looks. I'm curious to see what has changed over the last few months to the point where he is willing to hold off on a new contract if traded to one of these 8 teams. Mind you, the Jets were 6-2 in their last 8 games of the season and should be improved coming into 2020. Star player running to a playoff contender and not staying to turn a franchise around? That doesn't scream leader to me. But again, this is Jamal's career and I hope he finds happiness if this situation is resolved. The best bet for the Jets is to hold on to him and try to make this work. I think this is fixable, but the more noise Prez makes, the more fed up Joe Douglas will be. Adams is under contract for TWO MORE YEARS and if the Jets wanted to they could franchise him after that. And then again after that. Cold business. My prediction is that Jamal Adams will be in green and white come September if we have a football season and then will get a contract that he most certainly deserves. But will he be patient?