The NY Jets’ trade of Jamal Adams has a number of clear-cut winners and losers.
Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas pulled the trigger on what seemed like an unthinkable move. Trading away his best player for a king’s ransom from the Seattle Seahawks.
Even though the Jets have a checkered history with keeping their star players, there was hope that somehow the Adams situation would buck that trend. Jamal Adams was supposed to be a Jet for life.
Instead, what’s left in the wake is a Jets franchise turning the page on what was supposed to be one of their cornerstone players.
The Jets in recent years have struggled to draft, develop, or sign elite players. Adams was the exception to that and now he’s gone. Superstar players like Adams are hard to come by and even harder to keep.
Now that some time has passed and the dust has settled on the Adams trade. Many questions still remain.
Did the Jets get true value in return for their best player? Did Jamal Adams do the right thing for himself? Did the Jets do the right thing for their franchise and their fanbase?
Did the Seahawks pay too much for Jamal Adams? Could this entire scenario have been handled better and avoided altogether?
Like any trade, only time can reveal who will benefit the most from the deal. However, the initial fallout suggests who the winners and losers of the Adams trade are.
Let’s take a look at the winners first.
Next: 1. Winner: Jamal Adams
1. Winner: Jamal Adams
Let’s face it. Jamal Adams got exactly what he wanted. He didn’t want to be a member of the NY Jets anymore. He hasn’t stated it publicly yet, but Adams was tired of all the losing. He wanted out and was prepared to do anything it took to expedite his exit.
It was never really about the money. Yes, that’s what Adams is seeking eventually, but he isn’t getting that initially with his new team in Seattle. Adams knows this and he is fine with it.
A big part of Adams’ motivation was his status as a star player on a losing team. Adams may have played for New York, but the Jets were an off-broadway production.
The trade never happens if Adams doesn’t make it possible. The Jets had the 24-year-old under full control. They didn’t need to extend his contract this season. He could’ve very easily been tagged in 2021 and beyond if an extension wasn’t reached.
So Jamal Adams did what any player who is under full team control needs to do to have a team not want him anymore. Adams let the world know that he wanted out. Jamal made it easy for the Jets to trade him away.
From a public relations standpoint. Adams did the Jets a favor. On the flip side, Adams expertly used media members like Manish Mehta to accomplish his ultimate goal of no longer being a Jet.
Adams ripped ownership and management. He took direct shots at his head coach, Adam Gase. All the while, feeding the media information on his desired landing spots.
Adams created a market for himself. As a supposed team leader, Adams committed what would be considered an act of football treason.
His actions paid off. He found his way out. He’s going to a Super Bowl contending team in Seattle. Adams was very “presidential” in getting his initiative pushed through.
Even if it took burning down all of Congress to do it.
Next: 2. Winner: Joe Douglas
2. Winner: NY Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas
It’s hard not to throw bouquets at Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas. He made the best out of what was a difficult situation.
Even though, Douglas could have held Jamal Adams’ feet to the fire and made him play for his supper. Douglas needed to get rid of Adams but at the same time, he couldn’t panic.
By letting everyone know that he had no intention of trading Adams away. Douglas let the market come to him with strong offers. If buyers had known, that Douglas was desperate to trade away Adams, the potential offers wouldn’t have been strong enough to warrant a deal being made.
As the leader of the Jets brain trust, there is no way that Jamal Adams could be back with the team after his public betrayal of the franchise through the media.
Bringing Jamal back would have undermined Joe Douglas’ power within the organization and would have been a distraction for the entire Jets franchise.
The Jets needed to receive the proper value in return for their best player. That’s exactly what Joe Douglas got. Adams was dealt with a fourth-round pick in 2022, for two first-round picks (2021/2022), a third-rounder in 2021, and veteran safety Bradley McDougald.
Another hidden key to the trade was dealing Adams away from the Jets division and conference. Despite the proclivity of Douglas making deals within his division in the past.
There is no way that any trade of Adams to an AFC team or even the Giants across town would have been an acceptable outcome. Regardless of the compensation.
The Jets future is set up nicely in both draft capital and cap room moving forward. Douglas will have the ammunition to build upon the foundation of the franchise.
Next: 3. Winner: Adam Gase
3. Winner: NY Jets’ head coach Adam Gase
When Jamal Adams drew the line in the sand of his disdain for continuing to play for the Jets franchise, he drew it directly over Jets head coach Adam Gase. While Adams was openly critical of New York’s handling of his contract. The real target of Adams venom was Gase.
Adams questioned Gase’s leadership. Adams took Gase to task for his inability to communicate with the players. An Adams return to the Jets in 2020, would have cast a dark cloud over the head of Adam Gase, and created division within the Jets locker room.
A good portion of the Jets’ fanbase would have sided with Adams, as well as some of the players, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. An Adams return would have seen people calling for Gregg Williams to take over as the teams’ head coach.
No one is under more fire to succeed in 2020 than Adam Gase. The Jets win-loss record will fall directly at his doorstep. As will the progression of franchise quarterback Sam Darnold. But quite frankly, Joe Douglas trading away Adams is a vote of confidence by Douglas towards Gase.
Douglas chose Adam Gase as his leader over Jamal Adams. It can be argued that Douglas is the Jets’ GM because of Gase. So Douglas moving quickly to deal away Adams is a direct sign of where Joe’s loyalty lies. It also shows the players who the boss is.
Gase is not in the clear, but the departure of Adams helps fortify his stronghold on the team — a position that would have been compromised by a returning Adams.
Here are who I believe to be the losers in the Jamal Adams trade.
Next: 4. Loser: The Seattle Seahawks
4. Loser: The Seattle Seahawks
On the surface, the Seattle Seahawks have added one of the best young defensive players in all of football. Jamal Adams is an elite talent that will make Seattle’s defense better.
However, at the end of the day. The value given up for Adams may not reap the return that Seattle is looking for. The Seahawks are in win-now mode.
The hope is that the picks they gave up for Adams will be late first-rounders and that the move will get them over the hump in their NFC West power struggle with the San Francisco 49ers.
The real issue with the deal on Seattle’s end is 2021 and beyond. With a lowered salary cap expected next year due to the effects of COVID-19.
Breaking the bank for Adams will require committing a significant portion of their cap to a position that doesn’t traditionally warrant it.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider is one of the best football minds in the business and has a strong track record but he is taking a calculated risk.
One that must-see his team make a deep playoff push to warrant the amount of future cap space and draft capital invested.
Next: 5. Loser: Gregg Williams
5. NY Jets’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams
There is no way around it. The Jets defense in 2020 will not be as good as it could have been if Jamal Adams was still on the team.
Williams did a masterful job in 2019 of getting the most out of what was a defense ravaged by injuries.
There’s something to be said for the ability of Williams as a coach to get the most out of his players’ abilities but the loss of his most dynamic player in Adams is going to hurt his unit.
The Jets lack dynamic playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Without an elite pass-rusher or stand out front seven players. Williams was able to use Jamal’s unique skill set to create havoc up front. That luxury is now gone.
For all the improvements that the Jets made to their roster to protect Sam Darnold, there wasn’t much done to improve upon the Jets defense this past offseason.
Gregg Williams has his work cut out for him.
Next: 6. Loser: NY Jets fans
6. NY Jets fans
Up until fairly recently, Jamal Adams was a beloved figure for all Jets fans. The franchise has struggled mightily in recent times and it’s been nearly a decade since the team has been real contenders.
In dark times, Jamal Adams was a bright light. An exciting and elite player who made Jets fans proud to have him as their leader on the field.
Despite all the losing, the Jets fanbase fed off of Adams’s energy on and off the field. Adams became a big part of the team’s identity. It’s now gone.
Longtime Jets fans have been down this road before.
From Keyshawn Johnson to John Abraham to Darrelle Revis to now Jamal Adams. Every time Jets fans get attached to their star players, it doesn’t last very long. The marriages to their favorite players always seem to end in an ugly divorce.
The realization sets in that the adage of just rooting for the laundry rather than the players holds true. The actions of Adams make it easier for the fanbase to let go but there was a time, not too long ago where it appeared like Adams would be a Jet for life.
Now all that is left is the jerseys Jets fans own that bare his name.