Joe Douglas got an offer he couldn’t refuse.
The Jets’ general manager was prepared to have a sit-down with disgruntled safety Jamal Adams this week and see if they could resolve Adams’ differences with the team that drafted him. But when Seattle presented Douglas a Godfather offer, he didn’t refuse it, sending the Jets’ best player and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Seahawks for first-round picks in 2021 and ’22, a ’21 third-rounder and eighth-year safety Bradley McDougald.
“It really was our plan to keep Jamal here,” Douglas said on a conference call Monday. “But when our conversations started with Seattle several weeks ago, the focus became clear that this was a great opportunity for us and the franchise.
“We received an offer that was too good to pass up and we decided to move forward with that decision.”
Douglas said it never was his plan to trade Adams, a two-time Pro Bowl safety in three seasons with the Jets. Douglas famously had said the intention was to make Adams “a Jet for life.” But circumstances changed and COVID-19 impacted how much money teams would be able to spend.
Adams was under contract for two more years, so the Jets were in no rush to do anything. But Adams was.
Last week, he took shots at owner Woody Johnson, Douglas and coach Adam Gase on Instagram, on Twitter and in an interview with the Daily News that was published on Friday.
Douglas said no one “took those things personally” and “you kind of understand why those things were said.” Adams was trying to push his way out.
Douglas said that didn’t play any role in the Jets’ decision to move on from Adams, but he came to the defense of Johnson, gave tremendous support to Gase and disputed some of the things Adams said.
“I just want to make it clear I never promised an offer to Jamal or his agent, nor was I ever dishonest or ambiguous in any communications with their camp,” Douglas said.
Douglas also made it very clear why there was no extension offer. “We went through a lot of different scenarios,” he said. “Since the current CBA for rookies’ payment came in in 2011, there’s only been three defensive players that received extensions this early: Luke Kuechly, J.J. Watt and Myles Garrett. With where we were with the uncertainty at the time of not knowing what the full economic picture was going to look like, we just weren’t in position to do anything immediately when it came to the contract extension.”
Douglas is looking forward to whatever this season — if there is one — brings.
Jets rookies and quarterbacks already have begun COVID-19 testing, and the rest of the team is scheduled to report beginning Tuesday. The Jets will look totally different with five new starters on the offensive line and no Adams, but
Douglas rejected the notion that the Jets are punting on 2020.
“I especially believe in Coach Gase. I feel he’s the right coach to lead this team,” said Douglas, who believes the Jets can build off their 6-2 finish from last year.
“My message to the team and the fan base is that we are trying to build this the right way. I think this deal helps us do that. We’re working to build a foundation of great players and great people. We have a group of guys that have a lot of drive and hunger to prove that the finish of last year was not a fluke. If we can capture that momentum and push it into 2020, there’s a lot of exciting things that can happen.”