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Jets' Jamal Adams still fuming: Losing dollars for hit makes no sense

Jets safety Jamal Adams during the second half

Jets safety Jamal Adams during the second half of the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 8, 2019. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – Jamal Adams didn’t use colorful language this time, but it was obvious he was still extremely bothered by being fined $21,506 for his hit on Baker Mayfield in Monday’s loss.

Adams tweeted that the NFL “is a damn joke” and included an expletive in a rant Wednesday after learning about the fine. He said on Thursday that his mother was upset with him for cursing. He controlled himself, but couldn’t help but take a couple more swipes at the NFL for how it protects quarterbacks.

“It’s crazy,” Adams said. “It bothered me a lot because it’s kind of like what do you want me to do? It was legal. Next time, I’ll just tag him on the head and say he’s it and play tag with him. I don’t know what you want me to do in that situation.”

Adams, a Pro Bowl safety last year, is known for playing all-out and being a hard hitter. On the first-quarter play during Monday night's 23-3 loss, Mayfield rolled left and Adams was in pursuit. Mayfield released the football just before Adams drilled him. He was called for roughing the passer. It happened on third down and extended the Browns’ drive, which ended with a field goal.

According to Adams, he was told the referees came to the Jets coaches after the game and “apologized” for making the call. But the league felt it warranted a fine, which Adams will appeal.

“Maybe we need to just put red jerseys on quarterbacks,” Adams said. “Just being honest.”

Adam Gase supported Adams and didn’t think it was a penalty. Gase said it’s difficult to correct a play like that because he feels Adams did everything he was supposed to do.

“I keep looking at it trying to figure out,” Gase said. “I just keep thinking if (Mayfield) doesn’t throw it, pump fakes it and (Adams) is pulling up because he thinks he’s going to throw it and he gets a first down running it… I’m trying to figure out what to tell him as far as how to play that play.

“When I saw it live I didn’t think that was a bad play. We’re trying to think how can we correct it and what do we tell him? If Baker does something different and he gets a first down running, everybody’s going, ‘Why didn’t Jamal tackle him?’ It’s a Catch-22 for him.”

Adams said he doesn’t want to do anything that would hurt the team, but he’s not going to change the way he plays. The referees telling his coaches they made the wrong call wasn't the most frustrating thing for Adams

“The frustrating part is it’s 21K,” Adams said. “That’s the frustrating part. It’s the money. That’s what I’m frustrated by. I’m not going to get too in-depth with it. My mother told me to calm down. She was upset with me that I was cursing last night on social media. I’m not going to curse now.  

“I’m mad about the 21K. That’s where it starts. And it was a legal hit in my opinion. It wasn’t unnecessary roughness. It didn’t look like Baker was in any pain because he got up and talked words to me. At the end of the day, I guess we can’t touch quarterbacks.”

Adams was removed late in the one-sided game after being whistled for back-to-back penalties. He looked at it as being benched, but Gase said he knew the emotional Adams was frustrated and playing pretty fired up. So he pulled Adams to make sure nothing happened that cost him.

Gase cleared the air with Adams Wednesday. Adams said he has a better understanding, and he let Gase, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and defensive backs coach Dorrell Wilson know he understands.

“As a competitor I don’t want to come out the game,” he said. “What competitor likes coming out the game? We have an understanding. I told him I’m fine. I told Gregg and my defensive backs coach I’m fine. Was I upset with it? Yeah, no doubt. But at the end of the day, we’ve moved on. I don’t hold grudges. We’re moving on.”

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