Moeller: Can The Jets Stay On Track Without Jamal Adams?

Probably one of the most famous Cowboys to wear No. 33 was legendary running back Tony Dorsett.

Within a month, Jamal Adams could begin to make his mark in the same jersey.

Adams has publicly stated that he was a trade over the Jets’ inability to rework his contract to either make him the highest paid safety or be in the same ballpark as his high-priced peers.

In a cellphone video shot of Adams in his hometown Dallas area on Sunday afternoon, a fan asked if he was coming to Dallas, and Adams responded “I’m trying, bro.”

Adams will make nearly $7.2 million this season, and Jets picked up his nearly $9.9 million option for 2021. Yet, Adams wants to not only be the highest-paid safety (Chicago’s Eddie Jackson) that would bring him in the ballpark of $15 million, but also among the game’s highest paid players (LA Rams Aaron Donald and Chicago’s Khalil Mack) in the range of $22-24 million.

Jets’ GM Joe Douglas has stated that he wants to make Adams “a Jet for life,” but the second-year GM surely doesn’t want a training camp holdout with plenty of promise around the team as well as the possibility of COVID-19 encased around One Jets Drive this summer.

Besides the Cowboys, there reportedly are eight other teams in the mix for Adams. A first- and a third-round pick appear to be the popular asking price, but players like Dallas wide receiver Michael Gallup also has been mentioned in the mix.

It is a well-publicized game of who-blinks-first at this point, but what would happen if the Jets did trade arguably one of their most disruptive defensive players in club history?

Can the Jets stay on track without Adams?

The Jets drafted highly touted safety Ashtyn Davis basically as a new toy for defensive guru Gregg Williams to plug into a some of his defensive schemes.

Fellow safety Marcus Maye had his first fully healthy campaign last season since he was drafted in 2017. This season will be Maye’s final year in his contract, and the Jets will need to keep him if he continues to develop.

Initially, the thought was to let Maye walk and pair Adams and Davis together within two years. The Jets could have the unknown factor of Davis paired with Maye, who needs to show this season that he can stay healthy.

The Jets are stacked at linebacker and have watched their defensive line progress. Williams would need to increase last year’s sack total of 35 to keep the pressure off Maye and Davis and also a current questionable cornerback situation that will need to sort itself out in August. Another problem is the Jets’ lack of depth at the position.

Adams’ situation will be decided before training camp if not within the next couple weeks, and the Jets need to maintain the climate whatever the final route.

This also isn’t the type of situation that bodes in the favor of second-year head coach Adam Gase, who had his share of critics last season.

Adams is pushing the envelope.

It’s up to Jets to fill it or put a stamp on it.

It will be interesting. Stay tuned.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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