by Jordy McElroy
Jamal Adams was all in on the New York Jets until he found out they weren’t all in on him. Leave it to Gang Green to alienate the only young, generational talent on their roster that actually wanted to be on the team.
Are you really surprised?
This is the same Jets organization that traded Bill Belichick for a first-round draft pick to the New England Patriots. It’s the same organization that thought it was a good idea to hire Adam Gase as their third head coach in six years. Gase is as wide-eyed now as the day he was introduced as the team’s new head coach, and fans had to be equally as wide-eyed when hearing the news that Adams was being shopped to the Dallas Cowboys before the trade deadline.
Every other trade rumor emanating from behind closed doors made sense except for that one. Even the idea of Le’Veon Bell, who has been a model citizen and the team’s best offensive player, being moved for the right price was perfectly acceptable. The team signed the former All-Pro running back in the offseason with the thinking that they’d be able to compete this season with quarterback Sam Darnold behind center.
Then Darnold caught mononucleosis, started seeing ghosts and the rest is history.
The very nature of a rebuild is to find young and cheap players to groom into impact foundational pieces to spearhead the future. Adams is only in his third year in the league, and he is already regarded as one of the best safeties in football. With another year on his rookie contract before the fifth-year option comes into play, it never made sense for the Jets to want to cut ties with an ascending 24-year-old player trending in the direction of a perennial All-Pro talent.
Even worse, they failed to pull the trigger on the publicized trade, leaving an awkward and broken situation that may not be salvageable. Days after learning he was on the trade block, Adams is refusing to speak with general manager Joe Douglas or anyone else in the front office.
“At the end of the day, I know he has a job to do, and I respect it,” said Adams, when speaking with media members. “But I hold myself in a high regard. I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do since I’ve been here for the three years. I didn’t take that lightly. I really didn’t. But when I heard, my agent called me and he told me what was going on, it definitely hurt me. 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. That’s where I hold myself, in that regard.”
Some ran with the comments as if Adams was outright comparing his resume to Donald and Brady’s when he was actually comparing his importance to his own team. Given his age and availability, is anyone going to argue that he’s not the best defensive player on the Jets roster?
He’s not saying he’s the greatest of all time or even the league’s best defensive player, but he is an elite talent worthy of being viewed through the long-term scope of a franchise player. Unless the Jets can convince him they’re all in, they might be forced to move on whether they’re ready to or not.
Adams was born and raised in the state of Texas, and the chance to go back home and play for an actual contender should feel like heaven in comparison to the hell he’s endured with the Jets. Even with a first-round draft pick, there is nothing in the Jets’ recent history to suggest they’ll come away with a player even close to being as good as Adams. It has been a revolving door of overvalued talent and rebuilding seasons for the last eight years.
The Jets haven’t been good since Mark Sanchez was the starting quarterback. Let that thought sink in for a moment.
We are only halfway through the season, and the Jets have already achieved dumpster fire status with a group of players that may or may not be in their long-term future. It’s a future even the front office is oblivious to at this point—a future Adams stopped believing in after the trade deadline.