In a time of chaos for Jets, Jamal Adams needs to remain a voice of reason
By Michael Henken
It’s been a crazy offseason for the New York Jets, but star safety Jamal Adams is the kind of leader the team needs to keep the ship stable heading into the 2019 season.
With a ton of changes taking place throughout the offseason thus far and over the last few weeks alone, the New York Jets have gone through a bit of a chaotic time since the conclusion of a disappointing 4-12 2018 campaign.
Following another losing season and another season without a playoff berth, it became incredibly clear that change was needed for the New York Jets. What exactly those changes would be, however, seemed to be a bit unclear.
Parting ways with head coach Todd Bowles seemed to be an obvious move that needed to be made by ownership. Whether or not the team would separate itself from general manager Mike Maccagnan, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure of a thing.
Following the conclusion of the 2018 season, the Jets quickly made the decision to fire Bowles. Maccagnan, however, remained the team’s general manager and was given the keys to controlling the team’s offseason, which included hiring a new head coach, spending over $100 million in free agency, and selecting a draft class that included the No. 3 overall pick.
In regard’s to the moves that have been made by the Jets throughout the offseason, the most notable have come in the hiring of new head coach Adam Gase, the signings of big names such as star running back Le’Veon Bell and highly touted linebacker C.J. Mosley, and the selection of Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams with the team’s top pick in the draft.
Due to the responsibility Maccagnan was given and the moves that he made, it came as a great shock when the Jets decided to fire him on May 15. Following the announcement, acting owner Christopher Johnson released a statement indicating that the move was made with the “best long-term interests of the New York Jets” in mind, but speculation quickly went in a different direction.
Many, for example, believe that Maccagnan was fired due to a supposed “rift” between him and Gase. Or in other words, he and Gase simply couldn’t get along and see eye-to-eye. In fact, some reports have even indicated that the disagreements stemmed from Gase not being in favor of the lucrative contracts that were handed out to both Bell and Mosley.
Now, it’s important to note that the truth of these reports is incredibly unclear. Gase, for example, has denied much of it, claiming that he had nothing to do with Maccagnan’s firing, while also claiming that he had no problem with signing Bell or Mosley and that he has been in constant contact with the both of them.
That very may well be true. It also, however, may not be true. Regardless, it seems as if there are a ton of moving parts on One Jets Drive at the moment and it seems as if the team is going through quite a chaotic adjustment period.
As of now, Gase is the interim general manager and the team will soon begin the search, which Gase is expected to play a pivotal part in, for a new general manager. In addition, there is a completely new coaching staff in town and a plethora of new players.
And regardless of whether or not the various reports are true, it’s assumed that this type of attention isn’t the type that new acquisitions like Gase, Bell, and Mosley were hoping to be dealing with upon their arrivals in Florham Park.
With that being said, the team’s primary goal must now be to remain focused on what’s important and what lies ahead. In recent memory, the Jets have often preached about a much-needed culture change and that change has been spearheaded by the players on the roster, specifically players like Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams.
The 23-year-old Adams, who was selected out of LSU with the No. 6 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has been nothing but a breath of fresh air since lacing up his cleats for the green and white. Not only is he incredibly competitive and talented on the field, but he’s emerged as a vocal leader as well, always pushing those around him to be better.
Adams has proven to be quite emotional, but he plays with a fire and a passion unmatched by many others. He talks trash and backs it up. He says what’s on his mind whether or not those around him want to hear it. But in the end, the team’s best interests are always the driving factor behind the actions of Adams.
And moving forward, this needs to remain to be the case. At the end of the 2018 season, Adams said that the Jets needed more “dogs”. Well, he got just that in the form of players like Bell, Mosley, and Williams.
Now, he needs to keep those “dogs” and the rest of the team focused on the task at hand, regardless of the chaos going on around them.