Perhaps trying to extend an olive branch to disgruntled Jamal Adams, the New York Jets continued their efforts Friday to make him feel wanted.
Coach Adam Gase, commenting for the first time on Adams’ contract dispute and trade request, heaped praise on the All-Pro safety and made it seem as if a trade is out of the question.
Asked if he “absolutely, positively” wants Adams on the 2020 roster, Gase told reporters on a conference call, “Yes, I want Jamal on our team.”
This came one day after defensive coordinator Gregg Williams made similar comments.
What Gase declined to address is whether the Jets are open to extending Adams’ contract before the start of the season – the crux of the dispute.
Adams, signed through 2021, is on record as saying he wants a new deal before the regular season. Frustrated by the lack of progress in talks, he formally requested a trade last week, as ESPN reported. He gave the Jets a list of seven preferred destinations.
The Jets haven’t granted permission for him to seek a trade.
“This is a tough part of the business, when one of your best players is working through things with our organization,” Gase said. “We have to figure out a way to get to a good place, which will get him back, in the right spot and ready to go.”
Adams, 24, has made comments on social media, criticizing the organization, saying goodbye to fellow safety Marcus Maye and telling a fan with a cell-phone camera that he’s “trying to” work out a trade to the Dallas Cowboys.
Gase wouldn’t say if he has spoken directly to Adams, adding, “Anything that’s going to deal with communication with Jamal will stay between us. That’s how we’re operating, keeping our locker room tight.”
Gase claimed his relationship with the outspoken Adams “has been good since the time I’ve gotten here (in 2019). We’ve had a lot of discussions throughout the season, trying to figure out ways to win. We’ve always gotten along well, and there’s been a lot of dialogue between us about on- and off-the-field type topics.”
Adams didn’t participate in the Jets’ voluntary virtual offseason.
Gase called Adams “one of our best players and most consistent guys that we had last year.” He lauded his practice habits, his versatility and his ability to create favorable matchups for teammates.
“His play speed is phenomenal, both in practice and on game day,” Gase said.
Adams, selected to two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team, is due to make $3.6 million this season. His salary increases to $9.9 million in 2021, the amount of his fifth-year option. The Jets can use the franchise tag in 2022, so they have his rights for at least three seasons.
Gase said it’s “hypothetical” to comment on whether the team’s relationship with Adams can be repaired.
“It’s a tough part of the business,” he said. “Our job is to work through difficult times and difficult situations and find solutions.”