The call appeared on Bradley McDougald’s cell phone while dining with family members during a visit to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio last week. It was Seahawks general manager John Schneider. “My first reaction when I saw he was calling was that I was in trouble,’’ McDougald recalled Friday via a Zoom call. “Then I …
The call appeared on Bradley McDougald’s cell phone while dining with family members during a visit to his hometown of Columbus, Ohio last week.
It was Seahawks general manager John Schneider.
“My first reaction when I saw he was calling was that I was in trouble,’’ McDougald recalled Friday via a Zoom call. “Then I realized I hadn’t done anything and was like, ‘OK, this is weird.’ You don’t really talk to the GM every day. Then, all I remember was he said, ‘We just traded you to the Jets.’
“He continued to speak for like two more minutes and but all I heard was, ‘Jets … Jets … Jets,’ and I’m like, ‘Wait, you said I just got traded to the Jets?’ It hadn’t even processed yet. At first, I was struck, I felt abandoned [like] they just kicked me out and they didn’t care about me or value me there.
“But [then] I started to think about how much of a blessing this was —another opportunity,’’ the eighth-year safety went on. “I can come into a program that wanted me. They did their homework and they traded for me. I had to start thinking about all the positives.’’
This is the stark juxtaposition between McDougald, whom the Jets acquired along with two Seattle first-round draft picks and a third-rounder in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick and Jamal Adams, whom the Jets drafted sixth overall in 2017.
McDougald focused on the positives while Adams, for the past six months, was fixated on only one thing: Himself and the contract desires he demanded be fulfilled yesterday despite the world being in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic with people losing their livelihoods or worse, their lives.
In the end, before the Jets finally moved him for what cannot be considered anything other than an impressive haul, Adams had become an untenable distraction to his team.
After he quickly weighed in publicly on the recent allegations of sexist and racist comment against team owner Woody Johnson, torched head coach Adam Gase as a terrible leader, called general manager Joe Douglas a liar and ripped everyone except the MetLife Stadium hot dog vendors for his unhappiness, it was going to be impossible for Adams to coexist inside a Jets locker room that no longer wanted him around.
Lauded by so many people around him at LSU before he became a Jet as a young man with special leadership traits, Adams sadly never filled that bill, instead devolving onto a stereotypical me-first athlete whom some teammates were drawn to and others cynically rolled their eyes at.
Enter McDougald, who produced five interceptions and four forced fumbles in the past two seasons with Seattle while Adams had two interceptions and five forced fumbles in the same span as a Jet.
And listening to him speak on Friday, McDougald sounded genuinely stoked to be a Jet, which is light years from the way Adams felt as he spent every waking hour of the past five months trying to six-shoot his way out of town via a series of social media rants.
If they’re ever going to find success, the Jets need more players stoked to be on their team like McDougald appears to be and less complainers like Adams.
McDougald called the Jets trading for him “an honor.’’
“For an undrafted kid to get traded for somebody as high-valued as Jamal is pretty cool,’’ he said. “Speaking to a couple coaches and guys in the locker room, they were excited to have me. This isn’t me being here to replace Jamal. The only thing I can do is show up every day and … be the best Bradley McDougald, and hopefully that wins over my coaches, the players and the fans. That’s who I intend on being. I can’t be Jamal. I’m not the same person as Jamal.’’
Good news for Jets fans. Welcome, Bradley McDougald. Good riddance, Jamal Adams.