Jamal Adams Trade Rumors: Jets Star Prefers Cowboys Amid Stalled Contract Talks

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 23, 2020

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2020, file photo, AFC safety Jamal Adams of the New York Jets walks off the field at halftime during the NFL Pro Bowl football game in Orlando, Fla. Joe Douglas' feelings about Jamal Adams remain unchanged. Just like the New York Jets general manager's game plan when it comes to the star safety's contract situation. “Jamal’s an unbelievable young player, and our plan is to keep Jamal here a long time,” Douglas said in a pre-draft conference call with reporters Monday, April 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

New York Jets All-Pro safety Jamal Adams is keen on joining the Dallas Cowboys, but he may be the only one on board with the idea.

According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, the two teams haven't spoken since trade talks for Adams stalled last year and the price of acquiring Adams and signing him to an extension may prove problematic. 

The Jets are seeking a first- and third-round draft pick for the defensive back, per NFL Network's Michael Irvin. At the same time, Adams is reportedly looking to become the highest-paid safety in the NFL, and that deal is expected to break the bank at $15-17 million annually. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas, Adams also hopes to be closer to his hometown.

He's set to earn $3,590,292 in the fourth year of his rookie deal, per Spotrac. The No. 6 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, Adams has already been named a two-time Pro Bowler while racking up 273 combined tackles, 12 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions in 46 career games. 

Adams has also proved durable early in his career, playing back-to-back full 16-game seasons in 2017 and 2018. 

Now, the LSU product is ready to be compensated for his performance, but as he looks to make the jump to Dallas, there are multiple roadblocks, per Robinson:

"As of Friday, Dallas hadn't picked up the phone to inquire about Adams, who is seeking an extension that would make him the highest paid safety in the NFL. Such a price tag could complicate a trade pursuit by the Cowboys, who essentially have two financial avenues available if Adams were acquired: Either asking him to play through 2020 on his current rookie deal; or getting an extension done with quarterback Dak Prescott that would create salary-cap space needed for an Adams extension."

Robinson noted the idea of tabling discussions on an extension with Adams until after this season isn't too far-fetched. The Los Angeles Rams used a similar tactic to help acquire cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars last year. 

Perhaps the biggest issue in getting Adams to Dallas, per Robinson, is the level of distrust between Jets and Cowboys management: 

"The price could be steeper for Dallas, which has been relayed to the Jets as Adams' preferred franchise in a trade scenario. It's worth noting that the Cowboys made a mess of trade talks surrounding Adams at the deadline last season, leaking information to the media that ultimately ended up scuttling any shot at a deal. Jets ownership hasn't forgotten that experience, having walked away from it feeling burned."

While it's not the raise he's looking for, Adams is still expected to get a massive payday next season. With the Jets picking up his fifth-year team option, the safety is set to earn $9.86 million in 2021. He would become an unrestricted free agent following the season if he doesn't get an extension first.