Even though he was the sixth pick in the draft this year and is making $22.3 million over the next four years, the Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams is still just a 21 year-old kid.
And much like any other 21 year-old, sometimes you say and do stupid things. It’s just part of the learning and growing up.
A prime example came yesterday. Speaking on stage with Matt Forte and commissioner Roger Goodell, the subject of player safety and CTE came up, to which he said: “I’m all about making the game safer, but as a defensive player, I’m not a big fan of it. But I get it. I can speak for a lot of guys that play the game. We live and breathe [football]. This is what we’re so passionate about. Literally, if I had a perfect place to die, I would die on the field. And that’s not a lie. There’s so much sacrifice that we go through as a team, and just connecting as one and winning ball games. There’s nothing like playing the game of football. But again, I’m all about making the game safer.”
And that made headlines all around the country. ESPN picked it up and ex-football players with CTE criticized Adams for his insensitivity.
Note to everyone: Adams really wasn’t trying to offend anyone. He’s just passionate about playing in the NFL.
The rookie hasn’t played a down in the NFL and is four days into his first training camp. He’s excited and looking forward to having an All-Pro career with the New York Jets.
But today, Adams had to do damage control after coach Todd Bowles told him to squash this.
“Honestly, I really did not see it getting that far,” Adams said. “I was speaking about being passionate about the game that I love. I understand that some families were affected by this disease. I definitely didn’t mean it any type of way.”
You have to believe him, since Adams has been around the game all his life. His dad is former New York Giants running back George Adams, who gave his son some advice on this matter, which Jamal Adams said was a private conversation.
Nevertheless, Adams should get a pass here. There are far worse things in the world NFL rookies have done compared one who put his foot in his mouth four days in.
But Adams gets his one pass here. We can chalk it up to an enthusiastic rookie who needs to pick his words better.
Hopefully Adams learns his lesson and now this situation will be forgotten.
It’s now time to just play the game he loves.