New York Jets: Should the team move on from Jamal Adams?

Jamal Adams, New York Jets. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Jamal Adams, New York Jets. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Since Jamal Adams won’t attend the NFL’s voluntary virtual offseason workouts because of contract negotiations, should the New York Jets consider extending him?

As reported by Adam Schefter, New York Jets strong safety, Jamal Adams, is skipping out on the NFL’s voluntary virtual offseason program because of a contract dispute.

Now, missing voluntary workouts, especially when they’re virtual, isn’t that big of a deal. Yes, it’s a time for players to build strong relationships prior to the start of the season, but there is a reason why it’s called “voluntary.” Aaron Donald and Olivier Vernon haven’t shown up to voluntary workouts before and still continued to play at a high level (while being respected leaders for their teams).

However, the concern with Adams missing voluntary workouts is that it may lead to a holdout.

Per Spotrac, the All-Pro safety is due $3.5 million in 2020, which is the final year of his rookie-scale four-year contract. However, Manish Meta reported the Jets picked up Adams’ fifth-year option that’s worth $9.8 million (based on the current value of the transition tag for safeties).

With Adams’ contract previously set to end this season, it’s understandable that Douglas would pick up his fifth-year option because first off; Adams’ level of play is deserving of such, and second off; Joe Douglas wants to prolong negotiating Adams’ new contract.

But even with the Jets picking up the fifth-year option, there appears to be a looming question floating around 1 Jets Drive; will the Jets extend Jamal Adams? Also, is Adams worth extending?

The answer to both of those questions should be a resounding, YES! But as Rich Cimini mentions, “opinions are all over the map.”

It’s completely understandable that Adams is looking out for his best interest. Especially when NFL careers (like NFL contracts) are usually not fully guaranteed.

Adams most likely remembers what happened to Earl Thomas during the 2018 season. Thomas fractured his lower leg during the regular season with the Seattle Seahawks, after sitting out training camp because of contract disputes.

As Adams continues to improve every year, he only increases his value to the team. He’s currently one of only two active safeties who’s been to two Pro Bowls and has one All-Pro selection (the other is Eddie Jackson of the Chicago Bears).

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As I tweeted, well-run franchises don’t let their best player (especially team leaders and faces of the franchise) just walk away, and letting Adams go would be another “same old Jets” blunder.

Adams hitting the open market means the Jets would lose one of the best safeties in the league. Yes, Adams isn’t a ball hawk like some of the safties that I mentioned in my tweet, but that doesn’t mean he can’t improve (which he’s proven capable of).

Also, the Jets would lose the leader of the defense and franchise. Yes, leaders come and go, but there’s an energy that Adams brings to the defense. It’s like a swagger that Drew Brees brings to the New Orleans Saints or the intensity Ray Lewis brought to the Baltimore Ravens. That trait can’t go unnoticed.

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Finally, letting Adams walk shows other players on the team (and around that league) that no matter how talented you are, the Jets won’t spend the money. This would either deter top players from signing with the Jets or incentivize mediocre performances (paging Trumaine Johnson, please come to the front desk).

Now, I should mention it’s currently difficult for the Jets to extend Adams because of the money that’s tied to C.J. Mosley, who is owed $17.5 million this season and in 2021. The Jets are capable of cutting Mosely in 2022 with a dead cap of $4.5 million, but by releasing Mosely it frees up cap space to pay Adams.

It should also be noted the Jets will have to start thinking about paying Sam Darnold around then since he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2023 (considering he continues to trend upwards).

Jets’ head coach Adam Gase has called Adams the “heart and soul of the defense” while Joe Douglas continues to proclaim, “the plan is for Jamal to be a Jet for life.” If these are true sentiments, then it shouldn’t be a problem for the Jets brass to extend Adams. But the question with any Jets front office is can they put their money where their mouth is?

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So what do you think the Jets should do with Jamal Adams? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter at @EmpireWritesBck!