MIAMI — Jamal Adams expects to get paid this offseason, and the Jets and his representatives are in the early stages of making that happen.
Adams, the All-Pro safety, said he wants a contract extension from the team that represents “my status.” He sounded optimistic about getting a deal done, and said the team and his agents have had preliminary discussions.
“They’ve talked about it, no numbers yet,” Adams told two New York reporters at the Super Bowl. “I’d be lying if I said I don’t expect to be extended. I do because of not for what I’ve just done on the field, but even off the field for what I’ve done for the organization. I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do. I’ve done it at a high level each and every year. I’ve proven that I’m the best safety doing it right now.”
Adams was named first-team All-Pro this season for the first time and was selected for his second Pro Bowl. The 24-year-old is eligible for a contract extension after completing his third season. It is understandable why he would be looking for a raise. He is set to earn $3.5 million in 2020, far below what the top safeties in the league are getting.
“I’m not trying to be paid just to be the highest-paid whatever,” Adams said. “I’m trying to get paid for my status and what I’ve done. That’s what I’m about.”
The Bears set the market for safeties this month when they signed Eddie Jackson to a four-year, $58.4 million contract with $33 million guaranteed. The $14.6 million average per year is a new high for safeties. The highest total contract for a safety is Landon Collins’ deal with the Redskins ($84 million over six years).
“I’m happy for him,” Adams said of the Jackson deal. “I told him after the Pro Bowl he deserved it. Like I said, I’m not competing to be the highest-paid safety. I’m competing within myself to get what I’m worth, my status. That’s what I’m about.”
Adams has one year remaining on his rookie contract, and there is a team option for 2021. Adams is at the Super Bowl promoting New Era NFL 100 hats that have their bills made out of footballs.
The Jets had talks about trading Adams in October at the deadline but did not make a deal. Adams was upset at the time that the team had considered trading him. Adams’ play jumped after the deadline as he became a force blitzing in Gregg Williams’ defense. He had two sacks against the Giants in November and stripped the ball from quarterback Daniel Jones, returning it for a touchdown. The following week he had three sacks against the Redskins. He had 6.5 sacks in all.
The Jets have not had a winning season since drafting Adams No. 6 overall in 2017. They finished 7-9 this year after going 6-2 in the second half of the season, something Adams said is nice but not satisfying.
“Obviously, to me, we didn’t win,” Adams said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance in the playoffs, and that’s the ultimate goal. For me, it wasn’t successful. I’m not going to even sit here and tell you it was. Yeah, we played better toward the end and finished strong, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about winning ballgames.”
Last year, Adams recruited free agents to come to the Jets, including running back Le’Veon Bell. This year, he is leaving it up to general manager Joe Douglas to improve the team.
“You’ve got to realize you can only recruit so much,” Adams said. “At the end of the day, I don’t have too much say-so into it. That’s not really my job. But obviously I want to bring players in. We’ve got to bring some big names in to help us get over the hump, but the main thing is staying healthy.”
Adams said he is confident that Douglas can fix the roster, then they need to avoid the injuries that plagued last season.
“One is mainly staying healthy, jelling together and understanding that we’ve got to bring in some players to fix these holes that we do have,” Adams said. “We’ve got to put the team together. I think Joe Douglas is going to do a hell of a job with that. I have a ton of respect for him and we’ll see where we go.”
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