Jets coach Adam Gase left no doubt about how he hopes the current impasse between Jamal Adams and the organization ends.
Even though Adams has suggested on social media that he has played his last game for the team, has asked for a trade and has asked for permission for his representatives to seek a trade, when Gase was asked if he wants the All-Pro safety to return, he replied with seven unambiguous words:
“Yes, I want Jamal on our team.”
Gase, speaking with the media for the first time in nearly two months, said on a conference call Friday that he wouldn’t discuss the Jets’ approach to the stalemate, but he acknowledged that the situation is less than ideal.
“This is a tough part of the business, when one of your best players is working through things with our organization,” Gase said. “We have to figure out a way to get to a good place which will get him back, in the right spot and ready to go.”
Adams played sensationally in 14 games last season. He finished with 75 tackles, 6 1⁄2 sacks, 13 1⁄2 tackles for a loss, seven passes defended and two forced fumbles. He was among the top three on the Jets in all those categories, and that hasn’t eluded Gase.
“He’s done a great job of executing what Gregg [Williams, the defensive coordinator] asked him to do at a extremely high level,” he said. “He allowed us to be super-flexible in what we do. He really creates a lot for other people as well . . . Guys have to really account for him, especially if he is pressuring [or] he’s down in the box and they are not sure what is going on . . . Teams have to account for him, which frees up other guys and . . . gives other guys better matchups.
“His play speed is phenomenal, both in practice and on game day.”
The Jets’ offseason program was conducted virtually, and Adams did not participate in any of it.
He is signed through the 2021 season — the Jets can use the franchise tag on him in 2022 — and wants his contract renegotiated. According to an ESPN report, he requested to be traded to one of seven teams: the Ravens, Cowboys, Texans, Chiefs, Eagles, 49ers or Seahawks. However, the chances the Jets will trade him seem remote.
Secondary coach Dennard Wilson said on Thursday that if Adams is in training camp, which is scheduled to open July 28, he expects to see the same highly motivated and focused player he has coached for three seasons. Adams also could hold out, though he would be piling up daily fines of $40,000.
There have been reports that part of Adams’ desire to leave the Jets is related to his relationship with Gase. The coach would not answer a question about whether he had reached out to his star player, saying “anything that’s going to deal with communication with Jamal will stay between us; that’s how we’re operating, keeping things in-house and keeping our locker room tight.”
When he was asked for his take on their relationship, he answered, “My relationship with Jamal has been good since the time I’ve gotten here. We had a lot of discussions throughout the season trying to figure out ways to win. To me, we’ve always gotten along well.”