Jets general manager Joe Douglas explained Monday how safety Jamal Adams went from “Jet for life” to jettisoned to Seattle. “It certainly wasn’t the plan when I first arrived,” the GM told reporters in his first comments since the trade on Saturday. “It was just the circumstances of how it happened, how it played out. …
Jets general manager Joe Douglas explained Monday how safety Jamal Adams went from “Jet for life” to jettisoned to Seattle.
“It certainly wasn’t the plan when I first arrived,” the GM told reporters in his first comments since the trade on Saturday. “It was just the circumstances of how it happened, how it played out. It really was our plan to keep Jamal here, but when our conversations started with [Seahawks GM John Schneider] and Seattle several weeks ago, the focus became clear that this is a great opportunity for us and the franchise moving forward.”
The Jets shipped the All-Pro safety to the Seahawks for a bounty of two first-round picks, a third-round pick and safety Bradley McDougald. The Jets also sent a fourth-round pick to Seattle in the trade.
Douglas made it clear that he never promised Adams a contract offer despite Adams saying he did. He also backed coach Adam Gase after Adams’ attack on the way out of town and said he believes in the 2020 team.
Things grew contentious between Adams and the Jets this offseason with the star safety seeking a contract extension despite having two years remaining on his rookie deal. Adams sought to become the highest paid player on the Jets, according to sources. Douglas explained the Jets were reluctant to do a deal with Adams because of how rare it was to extend a defensive player after his third season (only three since the collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2011) and because of the economic uncertainty surrounding the sport with COVID-19 looming.
Adams said Douglas promised him a contract offer in a published report last week. Douglas emphatically denied that.
“I want to make it clear: I never promised an offer to Jamal or his agent,” Douglas said. “Nor was I ever dishonest with any communications with their camp.”
In that same report, Adams slammed Gase, saying he did not believe he was the right coach to bring the Jets a title and questioning his leadership. Douglas praised the second-year Jets coach.
“I’ve seen Adam this year go through a 1-7 start and a coach who never lost patience,” Douglas said, “who never wavered in his beliefs and a guy would get up and have the tough conversations if he had to with the players and get up and have great communication with the team in team meetings. Everything I’ve seen, I’ve witnessed in my year here with Adam I’ve been impressed by.”
It was noticeable that Douglas did not extend any good luck wishes to Adams or speak highly of him. Adams has been vocal on social media about wanting to leave the Jets and took a shot at owner Woody Johnson on Twitter last week and then ripped Gase and Douglas.
“This is a business and you don’t take things personally,” Douglas said. “Obviously, there was a reason why those things were said. I don’t take those things personally. I don’t think anyone takes those things personally. You kind of understand why those things were said. I can promise you that didn’t affect us with any of our decision-making that happened over the last week.”
The Jets and Seahawks had been talking for weeks and the framework of the trade was agreed to before Adams’ incendiary interview was published on Friday. The teams were waiting for the salary cap for 2020 and 2021 to be ironed out, which happened Friday afternoon. On Saturday, they finalized the blockbuster deal with Adams agreeing to play for the Seahawks without the extension he demanded from the Jets. Douglas said several teams were interested in Adams but the Seahawks’ offer was the best deal, saying they were “aggressive” in pursuing the trade.
“As I’ve repeatedly said, my responsibility is to always take the call and assess its value to the Jets,” Douglas said. “Ultimately, this was a deal that made sense for us to make.”
A reporter suggested the Jets were “punting” on the 2020 season with this trade. Douglas disagreed and said he expects big things from this year’s Jets.
“I think when you guys see this team practice and get around this team,” he said, “you’re going to see a team that’s very hungry and has a lot of desire to prove a 6-2 finish was not a fluke against a quote-unquote soft schedule. I think you’re going to see a team that has a lot of fire and a lot of motivation. I would disagree that we’re punting on 2020.”