NY Jets: Obstacles to extending Jamal Adams go beyond timing
By Justin Fried
The NY Jets’ issues with Jamal Adams go well beyond a simple disagreement about timing.
The NY Jets situation with Jamal Adams has officially gotten ugly and it will likely only continue to get uglier from here. And at this point, there are more issues on hand than the one that has previously been discussed.
For the longest time, the biggest obstacle getting in the way of Adams receiving his extension has been the ongoing pandemic. The Jets seemingly had every intention of extending Adams this offseason — or at least discussing it — before disaster struck.
So while the team did tell Adams back in January that an extension would be discussed before the start of the season, all of that changed when the world was hit by COVID-19 back in March.
Suddenly, the Jets didn’t feel comfortable forking over a massive extension without a clear understanding of how next year’s salary cap could look.
If games are played in front of empty stadiums, the NFL could be set to lose up to $3 billion in total revenue this season — that’s if restrictions don’t affect the number of games played.
In turn, the salary cap could actually shrink going into next year as opposed to the typical $10-20 million in growth. That could prove disastrous for teams flirting with the cap and the Jets don’t want to be one of those teams.
General manager Joe Douglas is looking out for the team and choosing not to be financially reckless. Adams doesn’t seem to understand that. Or if he does, his issues extend far beyond that.
Jamal Adams’ issues with the NY Jets extend beyond a disagreement over the timing of his extension.
Adams doesn’t trust the new Jets regime to do right by him. He feels slighted by the organization and ultimately misled. To some degree, that’s understandable and perhaps there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
If there is, we’re sure to hear about it in the coming weeks/months.
But Adams’ issues with the Jets stem from years of losing and incompetence. He’s tired of losing, he’s tired of the incompetence, and he’s tired of the Jets.
That makes reaching an extension at any point in the future rather challenging. How do you force a player to sign a contract with an organization he wants no part of?
And perhaps an even bigger challenge is the fact that the two sides haven’t even discussed financial compensation yet. Adams and the Jets have not had any open discussions about an extension — let alone the terms of said extension.
The Jets are prepared to make Adams the highest-paid safety in the NFL, he’s earned that much. But it seems as though the two-time Pro Bowler wants more than that.
Reports from ESPN indicate that he’s looking to not only become the highest-paid player on the Jets, but to earn possibly up to $20 million per year. That’s up there with the contracts of some of the league’s top pass-rushers.
Simply put, he’s not going to get that. Not from the Jets and not from any other team.
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That’s likely a starting point and I wouldn’t anticipate that Adams thinks he’ll get that. But in reality, that’s very far off from what the Jets are probably willing to pay.
Eddie Jackson of the Chicago Bears is currently the league’s highest-paid safety making $14.6 million per season. Meanwhile, the Jets’ highest-paid player under contract is C.J. Mosley who’s due $17 million per season.
Former general manager Mike Maccagnan was willing to completely rest the market for off-ball linebackers with Mosley’s unprecedented contract. Don’t expect Douglas to do the same with Adams.
This is likely a principal thing with Adams. He knows he’s the best player on the Jets (it’s hard to dispute that) and he wants to be paid as such. But it isn’t Douglas’ fault that Mosley is essentially being overpaid.
And he’s not about to overpay another player to right Maccagnan’s wrongs.
The Jets are likely comfortable paying Adams $16 million per season — still a hefty chunk of money. But I’m not so sure Adams accepts that deal if it requires him staying in New York.
He doesn’t want to be here and he isn’t about to take any sort of discount.
As much as it may pain Jets fans to hear it (or maybe it’s a relief to some), Adams might be right.
It might be time to move on.