On the eve of the draft, the Jets ironically find themselves in a similar situation that happened
10 years ago. It is also uncanny that it involves another possible defensive centerpiece from the secondary.
First, it was cornerback Darrell Revis, now it is safety Jamal Adams. As for the draft, take an offensive tackle. You can get a receiver later.
Somehow, though, it seems like this Revis-Adams parallel will get the bigger play down the road. Both demands were/are the same – make me the highest paid at my position. Adams is holding out from the team’s “voluntary” virtual workouts, and it sounds like it could be a long one.
Back in 2010, Revis was in the fourth year of a six-year rookie deal that paid him a paltry $1 million a year. A year earlier, Revis was regarded as the best corner in the game as he had a career-high six interceptions and 31 pass deflections in helping the Jets to the AFC Championship. He was regarded by many as the Defensive Player of the League, but lost to fellow corner Charles Woodson.
When Oakland signed Nnamdi Asomugha to a $15 million deal, Revis decided to hold out.
The Jets made some initial reaches, but they were set to be steadfast until the 2010 season clock started to tick. It lasted from the beginning of training camp until 35 days later on the eve of the season. He signed a four-year, $46 million deal with $32 million frontloaded in the first two years. There was another AFC championship appearance, and Revis was still on top of his game.
Enter Adams. He wants to be the game’s highest paid safety ($15 million or more) and his record can justify his point. At 24 and an old-school throwback leader and captain, Adams is worth a big price. He recorded 75 tackles and 6.5 sacks last year to notch his second consecutive Pro Bowl and was named a first-team, All Pro last year. He is in the final year of a four-year $22 million deal that had a $14 million signing bonus.
Adams will make roughly $3.5 this season and can make $9.9 on a fifth-year option. The Jets could then place the franchise tag on him for the 2022 season. However, like Revis, it likely won’t work.
Adams is seeking to become the game’s highest paid safety, passing Eddie Jackson ($14.6) and even ex-Giant Landon Collins ($14 million), who has seen his best days. Yes, it still nearly three months until an alleged training camp with the country’s conditions, and the Jets want clear skies ahead.
General manager Joe Douglas wants to put the Adams issue on the back burner until the his first draft is well behind him. “I’ve made it known that the plan would be for Jamal to be here long term,” said Douglas recently via the New York Post. “And again, I’ve also made it known that I have to do what’s in the best interests of this team. If other teams call to talk about players, I’ll listen. But heading into this draft, my intent isn’t to move any players. But if a team calls, we’re gonna have conversations.” Sounds like Dallas may have picked up the phone again like they presumably did last October.
The Adams saga began last season when it was reported that Douglas mulled over the thought of dealing him to the Cowboys for a pair of first-round picks or another highly valued package. Adams was miffed at the rumor and in a Tweet, compared his value to the Jets as Tom Brady’s was to the Patriots. Adams was consistently questions about the situation before the talk eventually subsided late in the season.
When it came to renegotiate with Revis in 2012, the Jets pulled the plug and shipped him to Tampa Bay. But Revis had the last laugh when he returned fresh off a championship with New England and inked a two-year, $33 million free agent deal in 2015, and it didn’t take long to see that his skills had deteriorated. Everyone knew he was gone in the final game of the 2016 season. His 2017 season with Kansas City was primary as a backup and it would be his final year at age 32.
Adams appears to be in the prime of his career and has some length left on his rope. Unless Adams changes his tune, the Jets will have to react. He is not untouchable, and a package of a couple of first- or second-round picks may be hard to dismiss. Yet, Adams and Marcus Maye can be one of the best safety tandems as well, helping to take the entire defensive unit up another notch.
Douglas and the Jets should enjoy and relish the draft and its possibilities. But, unlike Revis, address the Adams situation before the summer sun sets.