FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Jamal Adams stepped into Joe Douglas’ office last Friday and told the New York Jets general manager he was exactly where he wants to be.
Now, and in the future.
He told coach Adam Gase the same thing. But just a few days later, it appears the frustrated safety and the struggling franchise could be headed for a nasty divorce in the offseason.
“I’m excited to be here right now as we speak,” Adams said Wednesday. “But for the future, I don’t know. I really don’t.
“I thought I did, but I don’t right now.”
That’s because of what has transpired since that discussion, with Adams bothered that Douglas even listened to trade offers for him before the NFL’s deadline Tuesday to deal players — despite the conversation the two had just days earlier.
“I know he has a job to do and I respect that,” Adams said. “But I hold myself in a high regard. I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do since I’ve been here for the three years, so I didn’t take that lightly. I really didn’t.
“It definitely hurt me.”
The 24-year-old Adams was the Jets’ first-round pick in 2017 and quickly developed into one of the best safeties in the league, with him being selected for the Pro Bowl after last season. His hard-hitting style and emotional approach also made him a fast fan favorite, a player for whom Jets followers thought they could root for years.
But, with New York 1-6 and already looking to the future by dealing defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Giants for two draft picks Monday, opposing teams started calling Douglas to see who else might be available.
Adams became mentioned in trade talks, as did running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Robby Anderson, among others. Douglas stood pat, though, insisting Tuesday night he didn’t shop any of those players — and the offers the Jets received didn’t match the value the team has for them.
But moments after Douglas spoke to reporters, Adams took to social media and wrote on Twitter how the GM “went behind my back” to shop him to other teams. And, Adams didn’t back down from that Wednesday, saying he heard the team was shopping him from people he trusts, including his agent.
“I hold myself at a high level,” he said. “The Rams, they don’t take calls on Aaron Donald. The Patriots don’t take calls on Tom Brady. You know what I mean? That’s where I hold myself, in that regard. So regardless of how I understand that, you have a job to do. That’s how I took at it.”
Adams said both Douglas and Gase asked to speak with him to talk through the situation, which Douglas called “a simple miscommunication” during a radio interview Tuesday night. But the safety refused to sit down with them.
“I’m not ready to talk,” Adams said. “That’s just where I’m at with it. I’m not in that place right now.”
There are some semantics involved: Adams says fielding calls — even when the Jets set the price tag exorbitantly high — means the team was “shopping” him; Douglas insists he learned that when teams call, you listen — but he never actively looked to deal Adams.
“For three years, I’ve done nothing but work my butt off, continue to improve, be a great leader for the team, be a great teammate,” Adams said. “When you see certain things like that and you hear about it and you get calls, you’re in shock a little bit.”
Adams is still signed through next season and the team has an option for 2021, but it’s clear there’s lots of uncertainty surrounding his future with the Jets.
He confirmed an ESPN report Tuesday by acknowledging he told friend and analyst Ryan Clark that if he had to be dealt, he’d have welcomed being sent to Dallas — his hometown team. The Cowboys even tweeted: “The #DallasCowboys had interest but couldn’t land Jamal Adams.”
Still, Adams insisted he’s “happy” and “excited” to still be with the Jets. Whether that remains the case after the season could depend on the conversations he eventually has with Douglas and Gase.
“There needs to be a talk when I’m ready,” Adams said. “Can I say it’s going to fix it? I don’t know. I don’t know how they’re feeling about everything. But all I can do is continue to be a professional, continue to be that leader that I am. I’m going to continue to be myself. I’m never going to change for anybody.”
NOTES: QB Sam Darnold practiced fully despite his sprained left thumb being wrapped up. … LT Kelvin Beachum, WR Josh Bellamy, RB/KR Trenton Cannon, LB Neville Hewitt, CB Trumaine Johnson, C Ryan Kalil, S Rontez Miles and LB C.J. Mosley didn’t practice. … DE Henry Anderson, WR/PR Braxton Berrios, TE Chris Herndon, NT Steve McLendon, RB/WR Ty Montgomery, WR Demaryius Thomas and G Brian Winters were all limited. …The Jets signed LB BJ Bello and promoted DB Arthur Maulet from the practice squad. The team also placed LB Albert McClellan on injured reserve and signed OL Leo Koloamatangi to the practice squad.
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