Jim McIsaac / Getty Images
Only the Jets could turn Jamal Adams’ situation into a capital “situation”.
Adams is the only really tall player on the team. He’s in the fourth year of his rookie contract, which means it’s an extension. The Jets have a heading space: not a ton, but enough to develop a long-term deal that satisfies both sides. They have the ability to lock down a key building block for the long haul and send a message to their locker room and the league they really want to win. Or, they may hesitate about the contract for inexplicable reasons, signal to everyone that they are the same incompetent and drama-stricken former Jets, and perhaps lead one of the brightest young stars in the NFL outside of the city.
Three assumptions about the path the Jets choose.
The Jets chose the fifth year option for 2021 over Adams’ rookie contract in April, but reports say they are in no rush to negotiate an extension. This sparked the churning of rumors. According to longtime New York sports columnist Gary Myers, the Cowboys are ” seriously at stake“For an Adams swap, just like they were on the NFL trade deadline last October.
Adams does not participate in the Jets’ offseason virtual offseason activities. Yes, they are both voluntary and virtual, so the absence of Adams is almost theoretical. At the same time, the Jets have placed themselves in a situation where their lone superstar even refuses to do what we do in remote meetings: turn off their Zoom camera, mute their microphone and play NBA2K while the boss babbles. With nothing else in the sports world right now, speculation about Adams ‘trade is pretty much the only speculation, so the Jets’ inability to perform a very simple task reaches the widest possible audience. Jets can do more damage to their own reputation without opening the team seat than most teams can on the hottest days of training camp.
The biggest problem here is that there shouldn’t be a problem here. Adams is on the shortlist for the best NFL safeties (Adams, Tyrann Mathieu, Justin Simmons, Derwin James, Anthony Harris and an old guard from Earl Thomas, Malcolm Jenkins and Harrison Smith, if you want a list). Sam Darnold is the only player on the Jets’ list more promising for the future than Adams, but Darnold is a slow cook prospect, while Adams is an All-Pro. The Jets made some improvements during the offseason, and AFC East is suddenly winnable now with Tom Brady living the Florida middle-aged lifestyle (dividing his pants while playing awfully with rich guys) , but there is no conceivable path to playoff for the Jets that does not involve Adams.
Jim McIsaac / Getty Images
The Jets only have $ 15 million of ceiling space this season, through OverTheCap.com, thanks to ill-advised contracts for Le’Veon Bell, Trumaine Johnson and others. But they have a lot of space for long-range caps and no one else to spend their remaining dough right now. It does not take a lot of know-how in caponomics to structure a contract of around 18 million dollars per year–it’s the money Landon Collins / Kevin Byard – which keeps Adams both financially satisfied and relatively affordable in the years to come. If the Jets could make such a deal tomorrow, Adams logs in to Zoom, returns with a smile to team headquarters when they open, and the Jets start to look like stealth playoff contenders instead of perpetual comedic blunderers.
It is difficult to even speculate why the Jets complicate the Adams expansion. They may fear the financial repercussions of a fanless season in the stands, although that did not scare the Jets or any other team from hitting the free agent market in March, when no one was certain that something would never happen again. . The Jets have also spent the past few weeks making antiques at the free agency flea market, signing Frank Gore for $ 1.05 million and Joe Flacco for base salary of $ 1.5 million. Both were selections of good deals, but no player is likely to help the Jets much in 2020 or beyond.
There is clearly more going on between Adams and the Jets than a few financial worries. After all, the Jets were about to trade Adams with the Cowboys last October, reports say, and talks failed only after the Cowboys backed off the Jets’ asking price. There is no legitimate reason in football for the Jets to trade Adams, then or now: even if the Cowboys offered multiple choices in the first round, it would simply reset the Jets’ reconstruction clock at a time when they should prepare for the playoffs. push.
Adams may be some sort of bad apple in the clubhouse. If so, he has done a remarkable job of keeping the New York media secret, which is known to scent any whiff of discontent in the locker room. Gase blocked Adams for jumping multiple times after the Jets’ loss to the Browns last September, but Adams admitted he was at fault and Gase played down the incident. Even if Adams has his moments that cause headaches, swapping Adams’ caliber players instead of trying to build a better relationship with them is a great way to avoid the playoffs for a decade.
If Adams’s problem isn’t a financial, football, or attitude problem, it’s not really Adams’s problem. Instead, it’s a Jets problem. And that sounds like an Adam Gase problem. Gase has a long-standing reputation for not subtly spreading his dissatisfaction with anyone except Adam Gase. He had contentious relationships with several stars of the Dolphins, some of whom became rather public. He has denied Bell almost since the day the ball carrier was signed. Fomenting cold wars with its star players is as central in Gase’s game manual as a four-meter pass on the 3rd and 15th.
Adrian Kraus / Associated Press / Associated Press
The Jets were the Jets long before Gase, of course, so he can’t be the only one at fault. Bad organizations stay bad by being penny-and-dumb, rebuilding with one hand while signing 36-year-olds with the other and playing Make Your Own Malcontent with superstars playing with their careers and blaming them to be crazy about it. The gas just happens to thrive in the kind of environment the Jets have spent decades creating.
It doesn’t matter who is to blame. If the Jets realize they have to pay Adams, there is hope that they understand how to manage a football team without unnecessary layers of ego and intrigue, and they are ultimately good enough to make it right interesting next season. But if the Jets can’t escape the trap they created for themselves, it means that Gase lives up to its reputation and that the Jets are condemned to continue making unforced errors until as the team implodes and starts again for the umpteenth time in recent history.
Paying Adams should be a no-brainer. But these are the Jets, so the punchline at the end of the column is pretty much self-written.
Mike Tanier covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeTanier.