Jets All-Pro safety Jamal Adams requests trade

Jamal Adams playing for Jets

The apparent tension between the New York Jets and star safety Jamal Adams culminated today, as the Pro Bowler reportedly requested a trade.

This followed a lengthy Instagram comment this morning from Adams, who indicated that it might be “time to move on.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Adams’ dissatisfaction with his situation in New York. Back in April, we learned that Adams wanted a raise on the $3.6M he’s set to earn in 2020. The 24-year-old is seeking an extension that will make him one of the highest-paid defensive backs in the NFL.

Since the Jets already locked in his $9.86M fifth-year option for 2021, the organization saw no real urgency to pay him. Plus, thanks to the luxury of the franchise tag, the front office could conceivably account for Adams’ spot on the roster through 2022.

While the Jets have made it clear that they’re interested in retaining Adams long term, that hasn’t slowed the trade rumors. There were rumblings that the Cowboys could be a suitor for the safety during last year’s deadline, but no deal materialized. Even GM Joe Douglas has seemed to flame the fire, as he indicated before the draft that he’ll always listen to offers, even for his best players.

“The plan would be for Jamal to be here long term,” Douglas said back in April . “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. I don’t view it as hedging. I view it as doing my job.”

While there’s obvious financial incentive for the Jets to wait on an Adams extension, you’ve got to wonder why the organization is playing hardball with their best player. The former first rounder has emerged into one of the best safeties in the NFL, and he earned both Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro recognition this past year after compiling 80 tackles, two sacks, and six passes defended. If you’re going to dish out money on a player, Adams fits the bill.

For a team that was seemingly heading in the right direction as they pursued their first AFC East title since 2002, this news is devastating for the Jets organization. Sure, the Jets were abysmal between 2016 and 2018, but they seemed to take a step forward in 2019 (even if you’re not ready to buy into their 6-2 stretch in the second half). With Sam Darnold leading the way offensively and Jamal Adams anchoring the defense, there was legitimate optimism that New York could make a push for the playoffs. Obviously, that will be significantly tougher without their best player.

Dallas will presumably be connected to Adams again, but you’ve got to assume they won’t be the only suitor. In fact, even budget-conscious teams could get in on the mix, as Adams won’t necessarily demand an extension after a trade.

If there’s any reason for optimism in New York, it’s the fact that they should be able to get a haul for Adams. Still, considering the alternative (i.e. Adams sticking around New York), few people will see this as a positive move for the Jets.

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