What are the Takeaways from Jamal Adams Trade Request?

As sure as night follows day, Jets All-Pro safety Jamal Adams has finally requested a trade away from East Rutherford. Many have taken to their Twitter accounts, comfortably placing themselves in the “typical Jets narrative”. The facts of the case here however simply don’t support that version of events.

Adams, drafted by Gang Green 6th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft, is much more than a prototypical strong safety. Often utilised as a pass rusher, he has 10 sacks in the last two years. His strip sack of Daniel Jones in Week 10 of last season was a thing of beauty. Stealing the ball from Jones’ arms with little more than a tug, returning the ball to the house. He also managed his first pick six in 2019, intercepting Patriots’ quarterback Jared Stidham in his first NFL drive.

Before the trade deadline, new Jets GM Joe Douglas received a call from the Dallas Cowboys, enquiring about Adams’ services. The Jets demanded the Cowboys’ 2020 1st Round draft pick and more to entertain such an offer. A deal could not be done, and that was that.

Or so we thought. Like many developments in New York, Jerry Jones’ phone call made the press. Whether it was the Dallas organisation, or Adams’ representatives, the story “got out”. Soon, reports were that the Jets were “shopping” Adams. All Joe Douglas did was answer the phone.

Here are some lessons the Jamal Adams saga can really teach us:

1) This isn't about the money

The Jamal Adams contract saga suggested that it was a case of him wanting to be paid early. Just three years into his NFL career, he would otherwise have to wait a further two years before his rookie deal ends.

It was claimed that Adams wanted to be the highest paid player on the team, eclipsing the $17 million that CJ Mosely earns each year. That would most certainly make him the highest paid safety in the NFL. However, his contribution to the defense in all phases of the game makes that a realistic figure. It would eclipse the $14.6m that Eddie Jackson agreed with the Chicago Bears, who won’t be the highest paid safety in the NFL for very long.

However, suggestions yesterday were that Adams has half a dozen or so teams in his sights, which naturally includes his own Dallas Cowboys. Other franchises he is courting include the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. These aren’t cherry-picked franchises with cap space to spare, but teams ready to compete for the Super Bowl.

Let’s get one thing straight, this isn’t about money. Jamal Adams is a natural born winner, and he wants to spend his NFL career doing just that. He clearly questions the direction of the franchise under current Head Coach Adam Gase and wants to move to a team where he can set his sights on a Lombardi Trophy.

If rumours are to be believed, Adams won’t necessarily demand a new deal in his new home. This should be music to the ears of the Dallas Cowboys, who have just $11m left to spend against the cap. It also further confirms that for Jamal Adams, this isn’t about money. It is about winning.

Adams, once the leader of the Jets dressing room, has taken to social media on multiple occasions to publicise his unhappiness. He is past the point of no return – it is now a matter of when he leaves New York, rather than if.

Jamal Adams trade

2) Joe Douglas won't be held to ransom

Joe Douglas has previously stated that he wants to make #33 “a Jet for life”. Douglas just doesn’t seem to be in the rush that Adams is in. With the fifth year option looming next Spring, it made most sense to extend Adams after the 2020 season. Douglas knows that he has the leverage in this situation, and is refusing to let social media hype force him to the negotiating table when it comes to an extension.

It will be interesting to see whether Douglas holds firm now that Adams has demanded a trade. If he continues on his current course, the Jets will be set for a holdout with their best player. If he changes tactic, and immediately offers Adams a bumper deal to remain in New Jersey, he shows weakness. Yes, the fans would be delighted to see their All-Pro commit his future, but it sends a message out to all current and future Jets. Behave like a spoilt toddler, and you’ll get what you want.

For a new GM, changing tack here and pursuing a bumper deal with Jamal Adams would have short term benefits, but disastrous long term consequences.

Expect Douglas to be a calming voice amidst the noise. It may drag the scenario out, but it will serve him well in the long term. It may also drive Adams’ price up further.

3) Jerry Jones is an evil genius

Don’t let the recent drama get away from the fact that the Dallas Cowboys have sown chaos in East Rutherford. With one phone call in October, Dallas set off a chain of events that could well lead to the Cowboys picking up the best safety in the league.

Aged just 23, Adams is on a trajectory to become one of the most dominant defensive players in the entire NFL. Even if the Cowboys give up a first round pick and more, they’re getting a steal. Players like Adams emerge once in a blue moon. And when they wear the blue and white of Dallas, good things tend to happen.

4) This isn't over

If the Jets really want to stick one in the eye of the Cowboys, they could insist that Dallas pay a premium. After all, if both they and Adams are so desperate to be united, surely they’ll be happy to pay more than market value?

Adams is set to attract interest from across the league, not just from Dallas. There is no certainty that Jerry Jones will get his man, no matter how much he and Adams will it.

Don’t be surprised to see Joe Douglas play teams off against one another. After the headache that Dallas has caused him, Douglas may insist they pay a premium if they want to guarantee Adams’ services in 2020 and beyond.

Tom Scott

NFL Analyst