NY Jets: Ranking the most likely outcomes of the Jamal Adams situation
By Justin Fried
NY Jets’ safety Jamal Adams wants to be traded, but is that the most likely outcome?
The NY Jets and star safety Jamal Adams appears to be at a crossroads when it comes to his future with the team.
Following reports that Adams has officially requested a trade, his future in New York seems rather bleak. At the same time, the Jets still hold all the leverage in the situation and have no intention of trading him
The Jets know what Adams wants. But they have no reason to give in.
Therein lies the root of the issue. Two sides want completely different things, but one holds more power than the other. The powerless side could and should exhaust every last ounce of power that they have, but ultimately, they aren’t the ones in control.
It’s nearly impossible to accurately predict what will happen with the Jamal Adams situation. No one knows how far Adams will go to ensure that he’s off the Jets roster. And no one knows how far general manager Joe Douglas will go to ensure that doesn’t happen.
It’s essentially a game of chicken between Adams and the Jets’ front office. Only this game is heavily-swayed in favor of Douglas and the Jets.
Still, we did our best to analyze the most likely outcomes and rank them in order from least likely to most likely. For the sake of this article, we’ll strictly be referring to the short-term here — not the ultimate outcome which could be over a year from now.
Let’s take a look at the likeliest outcomes for this mess of a situation.
Next: 3. Adams is extended before the start of the season
3. The NY Jets extend Jamal Adams before the season begins
Jamal Adams wants his money and he wants it now. The Jets want to give him that money, but it doesn’t appear as though that’s going to happen this offseason.
Douglas and the Jets are being patient with Adams knowing that they have him under contract for the next two seasons — not to mention a possible franchise tag. They know the ball is in their court.
On top of that, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could have an adverse effect on the NFL’s salary cap next season. Given the uncertainty surrounding next year’s cap situation, it would be financially foolish to ink Adams to a massive deal right now.
As much as Adams might claim that isn’t a reasonable excuse, it most certainly is.
Aside from the Carolina Panthers and Christian McCaffrey, there are little to no instances of teams handing out hefty extensions over the past few months. And just because one team is financially reckless, that doesn’t mean that the Jets should follow suit.
Moreover, it doesn’t even seem like Adams wants an extension from the Jets at this point. Keep in mind, the two sides haven’t even talked numbers yet.
The real question is does Adams want out of New York more than he wants his extension? If that’s true, then the odds of an extension at any point in the future are slim to none.
But at the very least, it seems almost guaranteed that the Jets and Adams won’t reach an agreement on an extension before the start of the season.
This is a highly improbable outcome.
Next: 2. Adams is traded
2. The NY Jets trade Jamal Adams
This is the outcome we’ve feared for quite a while now. But even though it’s significantly more likely than the previous outcome, that doesn’t mean it’s the most likely to happen.
Jamal Adams wants to be traded. He wants his extension and perhaps more importantly, he doesn’t want to play for the Jets anymore. If he had it his way, this would be the final outcome.
Unfortunately for the star safety, the Jets control his fate.
The Jets really have no incentive to move Adams unless they receive a pretty hefty haul. Seeing as though he pretty much can’t hold out because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Adams is stuck with the Jets for at least the next two seasons.
He can complain on social media and request a trade all he wants, that fact isn’t going to change.
The problem here is that it’s a catch-22 situation. The more Adams complains, the more of a nuisance he becomes, the greater chance he has of hurting his value. That not only would affect the likelihood of him being traded, but it could hurt him once he finally does engage in contract negotiations.
Adams can’t afford to tank his value, so he has to hopes that some team will be willing to give up a king’s ransom for him. Otherwise, he might just be stuck with the Jets whether he likes it or not.
This outcome really depends on what other teams are willing to offer. But keep in mind, Adams is more valuable to the Jets than any other organization.
It’s hard to see any team offering enough to force Douglas’ hand. But it’s not completely out of the question either.
Next: 1. Adams isn't traded
1. The NY Jets do not trade Jamal Adams
Out of all the possibilities out there, this one remains the most likely.
Again, this is specifically referring to what will happen this year. This isn’t implying that he’ll eventually sign an extension with the organization, but it is implying that he’ll play for the Jets in 2020.
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The new CBA makes it so that if any player holds out, an extra service year is tacked on before they could reach unrestricted free agency. Essentially, if Adams decides to sit out this year, he wouldn’t be any closer to free agency than he was at the start of the year.
On top of that, the fines that he would accrue would likely vastly exceed his $7 million salary this season. As much as he’d probably like to, holding out isn’t a feasible option.
That means that Adams will be banking on a trade to get out of his current situation. But really all he could do is continue to be a nuisance and try and force the Jets’ hand.
Don’t expect that to work.
Joe Douglas evidently doesn’t mess around and it’s highly unlikely he bats an eye at Adams’ “demands.” The Jets’ GM knows that he has all the power in this situation, and he’s going to do what he feels is best for the team.
Just as Adams is looking out for himself (rightfully so), so is Douglas.
The most likely outcome seems to be that Adams begrudgingly plays for the Jets in 2020. It’s hard to imagine what an unmotivated Jamal Adams would look like.
But despite his vocal wishes, a trade just doesn’t seem very likely.