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Jets bid farewell to Jamal Adams, receive two first-round picks in trade with Seahawks

Jamal Adams looks on while stretching prior to

Jamal Adams looks on while stretching prior to a game between the Jets and the New England Patriots on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Patriots defeated the Jets, 33-0.  Credit: AP/Ryan Kang

Jamal Adams got his wish.

The disgruntled fourth-year safety, who has complained – sometimes bitterly – about not being appreciated by the Jets and unwilling to accept playing on his rookie contract, was traded to the Seattle Seahawks Saturday in a blockbuster move that signals the end for the 2017 first-round pick in New York.

The Jets traded Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022 to the Seahawks and received safety Bradley McDougald, first-round picks in 2021 and 2022 and a third-round pick in 2021, a source confirmed.

Adams took to Twitter to thank Jets fans Saturday: "To NY & especially the Jets fans: I love you & will always love you. You all will hold a special place in my heart forever. When I came into the league, you embraced me & watched me grow! We went through it all together. Thank you for the Luv & support these 3 years." 

The Jets released a statement from general manager Joe Douglas, which read, “This trade provides us with a unique opportunity to improve our team with multiple first round picks in each of the next two years and flexibility to continue to build this team for the future.”

Douglas added of dealing Adams, “As I have always said, my job is to listen to calls and this offer was one we could not ignore.”

The deal comes a day after Adams ripped coach Adam Gase in a published report, and nine months after Adams’ name first came up in trade speculation that made him question his future with the team. Adams appeared to mend fences with the Jets after word surfaced that the Cowboys had made an inquiry about him last October, but the team’s decision not to tear up Adams’ current deal and replace it with a contract worth as much as $17 million per season convinced the 24-year-old safety it was time to move on.

“I don’t feel like he’s the right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land,” Adams told the Daily News. “As a leader, what really bothers me is that he doesn’t have a relationship with everybody in the building. At the end of the day, he doesn’t address the team. If we’re playing [poorly] and we’re losing, he doesn’t address the entire team as a group at halftime. He’ll walk out of the locker room and let another coach handle it.”

Adams is one of the NFL’s top safeties and produced 273 tackles, 12 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions in his three seasons with the Jets. He was the sixth overall pick in 2017 and was selected by general manager Mike Maccagnan, who was fired in May 2019. Maccagnan was replaced by Joe Douglas, a former Eagles and Ravens front-office executive who has made several moves in the 2020 offseason to adjust the roster.

None was bigger than this. 

Douglas said in February at the NFL’s Scouting Combine that he wanted Adams to be “a Jet for life,” but the team never made any serious attempts to extend Adams’ current deal. As time went on and Adams’ frustration built, Douglas indicated that he would be patient and would only move Adams in a trade if the compensation was right.

Two first-round picks and then some was enough to convince the second-year GM to take the deal and continue the rebuilding process he began last year.

The Seahawks were in the market for a big-time safety after parting ways last year with longtime starter Earl Thomas, who is now with the Ravens. Seattle coach Pete Carroll stresses an aggressive style of defense, and Adams will be a terrific fit for a team that has legitimate Super Bowl aspirations.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson welcomed Adams to the team with a message on Twitter, writing “Let’s get it!!!” It is uncertain whether the Seahawks will immediately give Adams a long-term contract, but given how much draft capital they surrendered to get him, it’s highly likely Adams will get a new deal in the not-too-distant future.

The trade was somewhat similar to the deal made last year by the Rams for Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was also 24 at the time of the trade. The Rams traded two first-round picks and a 2021 fourth-rounder to Jacksonville for Ramsey, who was also publicly disgruntled with his contract.

The Jets still have safety Marcus Maye under contract, and they drafted Cal safety Ashtyn Davis in the third round last April. The trade for McDougald will also add to the team’s depth at the position.

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