Just 10 months ago Jamal Adams was the Jets’ biggest pitchman, recruiting free agents to come to New York and begging management to find him some “dawgs” to play with.
Now, it feels as if his relationship with Gang Green is irretrievably broken.
The man who wears the captain’s “C” on his jersey has behaved nothing like a leader this week after finding out the Jets talked to teams about trading him. Instead, he has pouted and tweeted a shot at the general manager and then blasted the team Wednesday for daring to consider trading him.
“When I heard that, my agent called me and told me what was going on, it definitely hurt me,” Adams said. “I hold myself at a high level. The Rams don’t take calls on Aaron Donald. The Patriots don’t take calls on Tom Brady. That’s where I hold myself.”
Here is a news flash for Adams: He is not Donald, who has won the Defensive Player of the Year award twice and affects the quarterback on a regular basis. He really is not Brady, who just might be the best player in the history of the NFL and has won three MVP awards, playing the most important position in sports.
Adams is a safety. A good one, mind you, but he’s still a safety. He is replaceable. The players he named are not. Someone needs to remind Adams he has two interceptions in 39 games. He’s not Ed Reed. He’s not Ronnie Lott.
This is not to belittle the player Adams is. He is a Pro Bowl player who is only 24 years old. When I first heard the Jets were considering trading Adams, I thought it was crazy. But watching Adams’ reaction to the news has made me think the Jets have no choice but to move on this offseason when he is going to be asking for a ridiculous contract.
Adams played the victim Wednesday. He said he is not ready to speak to general manager Joe Douglas and coach Adam Gase. Really? What is this, elementary school? You’re mad so you’re not going to talk to someone? This is a business. Adams learned that this week and he has handled it terribly.
Adams said his agent told him he was being shopped by the Jets. Douglas insists he only listened when teams called. It doesn’t make much of a difference. Either way, Douglas got pretty far down the road with the Cowboys and the Ravens. He was willing to deal Adams, and that is what has the safety steamed, even though Douglas’ asking price was steep — reportedly a first-round pick and two second-rounders. The Cowboys offered a first-rounder and a third-day pick, according to the NFL Network.
Once he heard of the trade rumors, Adams admits he told people, including ESPN’s Ryan Clark, he would like to go to his hometown Cowboys.
“I would love to go to [the Cowboys],” Adams said. “I am born and raised in Dallas.”
Still, Adams insisted he is happy to be with the Jets.
The whole thing is another sad chapter for the Jets, who never seem to be able to keep their homegrown talent home. Darrelle Revis, Keyshawn Johnson, Jonathan Vilma, Sheldon Richardson and John Abraham all looked like they were going to be long-standing stars with the Jets over the past 20 years, and all of them ended up getting traded.
The general managers change. The coaches change. The culture never seems to change.
Adams felt like a guy who could be a culture changer when he got to the Jets as the No. 6 pick in the 2017 draft. He brought energy and swagger. Even through all the losing, he was a bright spot.
That bright spot went dark this week.
“I hold myself in a high regard and obviously they don’t feel that way,” Adams said.
There are still two months left in this miserable Jets season. The team and Adams will find a way to coexist for that time, but this long-term relationship is over.
When Adams makes his next recruiting pitch, it will be for another team.
For more on the Jets, listen to the latest episode of the “Gang’s All Here” podcast: