The Seattle Seahawks have acquired safety Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the New York Jets in exchange for safety Bradley McDougald, a 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 third-rounder and a 2022 first-rounder.
After having spent months attempting to get traded, Adams took to social media to comment on the deal:
Jamal Adams @Prez
To NY & especially the Jets fans: I love you & will always love you. You all will hold a special place in my heart forever. When I came into the league, you embraced me & watched me grow! We went through it all together. Thank you for the Luv & support these 3 years. #Prez Out. https://t.co/1jkSMJKQNH
Jamal Adams @Prez
To the Seahawks Org & Fans: You have a man on a mission, a man all in on winning a Super Bowl, being the best leader & teammate he can be, & a man who will give everything he has to the city of Seattle and to the 12s all across the world. Thank you for believing in me! #Prez https://t.co/3kQzatip2r
New York general manager Joe Douglas said in a statement that he had envisioned Adams being part of the team's future but made it clear the Seahawks made an offer the Jets "could not ignore":
Per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, a new contract was not negotiated as part of the trade:
Adams' future with the Jets has been a storyline for months.
Amid a 1-6 start to the season, New York traded defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the New York Giants, while the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta reported the team was willing to move running back Le'Veon Bell too.
Adams was the subject of some drama earlier in the year when head coach Adam Gase benched him toward the end of the Jets' Week 2 loss to the Cleveland Browns. He then showed the surefire sign of discontent by removing his connections to the team on social media.
While that seemed to blow over, Adams vented to reporters after the Jets dropped their fourth straight game in Week 4 to the Philadelphia Eagles: "I mean, any time I step on the field, man, I expect to win. We all do. But it didn't happen. We lost. It doesn't matter. So I'm frustrated. I'm upset. It is what it is."
While Adams hadn't publicly expressed a desire to leave, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported he had "indicated he's open" to the possibility.
With Adams still in town, the Jets proceeded to win six of their final eight games to finish 7-9. It was a disappointing record, but the strong finish to the year raised expectations for 2020.
Adams also seemingly patched up his relationship with the team. He told reporters in November he had met with team CEO Christopher Johnson and had a "good" conversation:
"I am at peace with everything. I'm going to eventually talk to those guys, I'm just not ready to talk. At the end of the day, I'm a human. When you get into something that just happened like that—when you get into an argument, or whatever it is, a disagreement with somebody, some people handle it different ways. I do. I'm just not ready to talk."
General manager Joe Douglas also said at the NFL Scouting Combine in February the team intended to make Adams "a Jet for life":
By the time summer arrived, though, the situation had deteriorated once again.
ESPN's Rich Cimini reported June 18 that Adams had requested a trade: "The Jets have no intention of trading him, sources said, but Adams could try to force their hand by being disruptive and staging a training camp holdout. He is upset because he feels the team is dragging its feet, sources said."
Most recently, Adams told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News on Thursday that he didn't believe Gase was the "right leader" for the Jets:
"I don't feel like he's the right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land. As a leader, what really bothers me is that he doesn't have a relationship with everybody in the building.
"At the end of the day, he doesn't address the team. If there's a problem in the locker room, he lets another coach address the team. If we're playing sh---y and we're losing, he doesn't address the entire team as a group at halftime. He'll walk out of the locker room and let another coach handle it."
Through his first two seasons, the 24-year-old was obviously a promising talent. He took a big step forward in 2019, finishing with 75 tackles, 6.5 sacks, seven passes defended and one interception.
Adams has an option for the 2021 season and becomes a free agent in 2022. Perhaps the Jets were reticent to meet what are sure to be his steep demands with regard to his next contract.
Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN
Jamal Adams’ future contract demands loom large in trade talks. If he wants pay among top defensive players - which one source whose team has looked into Adams believes - that’s well above $20M per year, while safety market is below $15M. Tough for a SS, no matter how good.
Eddie Jackson's $14.6 million average salary with the Chicago Bears is the highest among safeties, while Landon Collins received the most guaranteed money ($44.5 million) from the Washington Football Team as a free agent last offseason. Adams can feasibly ask for a contract that betters one or both of those figures.
Whatever the reason for their decision, the Jets allowed one of the game's top safeties to walk out the door with a move that is bound to frustrate many within the fanbase.
Seattle, on the other hand, gained a player who can be the backbone of the secondary for years to come.