Former New York Jets safety Jamal Adams was loud and outspoken during his contract dispute with the team, but he didn’t talk his way out of town, according to the man who negotiated one of the biggest trades in franchise history.
General manager Joe Douglas said Adams’ outspokenness had no impact on the decision to trade him to the Seattle Seahawks. At the same time, Douglas took umbrage with one of Adams’ claims.
“I want to make it clear: I never promised an offer to Jamal or his agent, nor was I ever dishonest with any communications with their camp,” Douglas said Monday in a conference call with reporters.
Several months of acrimony culminated Saturday with the blockbuster, as the Jets unloaded Adams for a package that includes 2021 and 2022 first-round picks and veteran safety Bradley McDougald.
Adams raised the temperature, criticizing Douglas, coach Adam Gase and owner Woody Johnson. Most of his anger stemmed from the team’s unwillingness to give him a contract extension. A day after he attacked Gase and Douglas in the New York Daily News, the trade was announced.
“Look, this is a business and you don’t take things personally,” Douglas said. “Obviously, there’s a reason why those things were said. I don’t take those things personally. I don’t think anyone took those things personally. … I can promise you, that didn’t affect us with any of our decision-making over the past week.
“For us, I certainly don’t think this is a precedent for a player to shoot his way out of town. I’m not concerned about that precedent.”
Sources said the parameters of the trade were in place before Adams’ comments were published in the Daily News. Previously, he lashed out at the organization on social media, saying he was promised in January that an offer was forthcoming.
Adams, 24, has two years remaining on his contract for a total of $13.5 million. He will play this season under his existing contract.
The Jets wanted to postpone an extension until 2021. Asked why he didn’t want to extend Adams this offseason, Douglas said it was rare for defensive players drafted in the first round to receive new deals after their third season. He also cited uncertainty with the salary cap due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Douglas said he wasn’t opposed to having Adams in training camp with the hope of reaching a truce, if not a contract extension.
“But, obviously, we received an offer that was too difficult to pass up,” he said. “We decided to move forward with that decision.”
Gase, whose leadership was questioned by Adams in the Daily News, has yet to comment on the trade. Douglas rushed to the coach’s defense, offering unsolicited support in his opening remarks.
“I especially believe in Coach Gase,” Douglas said. “I think he’s the right coach to lead this team, having watched him work last year and see him and his staff overcome a 1-7 start. I feel really good about where we are with him and his leadership.”
In the end, the Jets traded their top player, weakening their roster for 2020. Douglas tried to put a positive spin on it, insisting, “I would disagree that we’re punting in 2020.
“We’re trying to build this the right way. I think this deal helps us do that. We’re working to build a foundation of great players and great people. We have a group of guys that have a lot drive and hunger to prove last year’s finish was not a fluke.”