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Jets' Jamal Adams to skip team's offseason program, report says

Jamal Adams of the Jets reacts after defeating

Jamal Adams of the Jets reacts after defeating the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 24, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Jamal Adams reportedly will be a virtual holdout.

According to ESPN, Adams will not take part in the Jets’ offseason program, which begins April 27. It is voluntary, but ESPN reported that Adams will skip the virtual program because he is upset that the Jets have not “expressed any official interest” in extending his contract.

With practice facilities closed and no group on-field activities permitted because of COVID-19, players are working out on their own this spring. All team activities, such as classroom work, will be done virtually. But Adams’ anticipated absence is significant and could make next week’s draft even more interesting for the Jets, who listened to trade offers for their best player last year.

Adams, 24, who is in the fourth year of a rookie deal that will pay him $3.5 million in 2020, is eligible for an extension. The No. 6 pick in the 2017 draft, he made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons and was first-team All-Pro last year.

Adams wants to be the NFL’s highest-paid safety. The Bears set the market when they gave Eddie Jackson a four-year, $58 million contract after the 2019 season, making him the highest paid at his position.

During Super Bowl week, Adams reiterated his desire to remain with the Jets and sign a long-term deal. He said the Jets and his representatives had preliminary discussions, and he sounded confident that something would get done. “I’d be lying if I said I don’t expect to be extended. I do,” he said at the time.

At the NFL Combine a few weeks later, Jets general manager Joe Douglas also said he had preliminary talks with Adams’ agent. Douglas added, “The plan is for Jamal to be a Jet for life.” Earlier this month, however, Douglas indicated that no progress had been made because the focus has been on “free agency, finishing up free agency and the draft.”

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, and this situation again opens the possibility of the Jets having trade discussions that involve Adams.

He was upset that Douglas entertained offers for him before the Oct. 29 trade deadline last year. He voiced his displeasure, saying he felt he should be untouchable and comparing himself to former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. He went several days without speaking to Douglas and coach Adam Gase, but the parties eventually hashed out their differences.

Adams became a dominant force in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ system and is coming off his best season. He set a franchise record for defensive backs with 6.5 sacks and finished second on the Jets with 75 tackles despite missing two games with an ankle injury.

The Jets have four of the top 79 picks in the 2020 draft and many roster holes to fill. Dealing Adams for players and draft capital certainly would help Douglas in his efforts to rebuild the team, if that’s what he decides to do.

Adams likely would garner plenty of interest. The Cowboys were one of the teams pursuing the Dallas native before last year’s deadline.

New York Sports