FLORHAM PARK, N.J.
At this time a week ago, Jamal Adams had emotionally checked out, all but severing his long-term ties to the Jets after believing that general manager Joe Douglas had shopped him to other teams shortly before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
By Thursday, however, he had re-engaged with the organization that drafted him sixth overall in 2017, his dreams of carrying on his father’s legacy still intact.
Yes, Adams still bleeds green-and-white.
After a heart-to-heart talk earlier in the week with Douglas and coach Adam Gase, the air has been cleared and Adams wants to remain a Jet. Now and for however long he plays in the NFL.
“I would love to be here, it’s as simple as that,” Adams said after practice. “I want to bring success to this organization. I want to bring a Super Bowl to this organization. That’s why I feel like I was placed in New York, to pick up where my dad left off. His career [as a Giants running back] was cut short [by injury]. I feel that’s my calling. Do I want to be here? Yes, of course.”
Before the trade deadline, Adams came away from a meeting with Douglas thinking he would not be traded. He then became furious after hearing that the Jets had listened to offers for him — the Cowboys reportedly offered a first-round pick and other draft considerations — and left open the possibility that his time here was near an end.
Douglas says he didn’t actively shop him but did listen to other teams’ offers for Adams and other players. Adams became irritated in part because he didn’t understand the dynamics of how trade inquiries work. He didn’t appreciate the difference between being shopped and the Jets merely listening to offers.
“The Rams don’t take calls on Aaron Donald,” he said Oct. 30. “The Patriots don’t take calls on Tom Brady. That’s where I hold myself, in that regard.”
Adams was widely panned for suggesting he was on a par with those two future Hall of Fame players, and he told Newsday on Thursday that he was hurt by that criticism. But he remains confident in what he means to the Jets.
“I took a lot of hits from it, and a lot of fans and a lot of people hate me for it, but I know my worth,” Adams said. “I know what I bring to a team. I know what I bring to an organization off the field. That’s just what it was. We’ve moved on.”
Before speaking to Douglas and Gase on Tuesday, Adams met with team owner Christopher Johnson, who told the safety he still means a great deal to the organization. He then resolved his differences with Douglas and Gase.
“It was a good talk,” Adams said. “I told them I don’t hate those guys. They don’t hate me. I have love and respect for them. We’ve moved on and we apologized to each other. We went about it a little different way on both ends, and it is what it is. You live and learn. It’s part of life. It’s not going to hurt our relationship or anything or how I feel about this organization.”
It has been a miserable year for the 1-7 Jets, but if Adams wants to remain a part of their long-term future, at least something will have been salvaged from this lost season. He is one of the league’s top safeties, and the Jets will be better off with him than without him.
Adams was chided for being naïve about the business side of the NFL, a league that routinely moves on from players. But he insists he understands that part.
“I know it’s a business,” he said. “It was just a miscommunication, and I felt a different way toward something that I was told [about being shopped]. It’s just different words. It wasn’t about the business. People blew it up. ‘Oh, he needs advice about the business.’ I get the business. I’ve seen a lot of people get cut — Hall of Famers, people who have records here. It was just a miscommunication.''
Now there is closure to an unfortunate chapter.
"I'm good,'' Adams said. "I have nothing but love and respect for [Douglas and Gase]. I want to be here.”