NEW YORK – Adam Gase still absolutely envisions Jamal Adams as a member of the New York Jets this season.
Plain and simple.
That's despite the star safety's trade request, all of Adams' headline-grabbing social media posts — and the rumors and reports that have dominated the last several weeks of the offseason.
“Yes,” Gase said Friday during a conference call, “I want Jamal on our team.”
The 24-year-old Adams is in a contract standoff with the Jets that took its most uncertain turn last week when he asked the team to deal him. He also told a fan in a comment on Instagram that "maybe it's time to move on,” and appeared to be saying goodbye to friend and teammate Marcus Maye in another post.
While Adams appears to be closing the door on ever walking through the doors at the Jets' facility again, the team currently has no plans to trade him. Adams wants an extension, but he is under contract this season and next — and New York could potentially use the franchise tag on him in 2022. So, the Jets don't feel obligated to redo Adams' rookie deal right now.
And that has led to the friction between Adams and the team.
“This is a tough part of the business, when one of your best players is working through things with our organization,” Gase said. “We've got to figure out a way to get to a good place, which will get him back, in the right spot and ready to go.”
Gase was asked a few times about Adams during his 20-minute call with reporters, but the coach wouldn't discuss whether he has spoken directly to the two-time Pro Bowl selection or what the team's internal conversations have been like regarding the situation.
“Anything that’s going to deal with communication with Jamal will stay between us," Gase insisted. "That’s how we’re operating, keeping our locker room tight.”
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said during a conference call Thursday that he “has Adams’ back,” but also wouldn't get into the contract situation. Williams called Adams a potential Hall of Famer and effusively praised his playmaking skills and on-field leadership.
Gase was also very complimentary of Adams, who has been the team's top all-around performer the last two seasons.
“He’s been one of our best players and most consistent guys that we had last year,” Gase said. “The value that he brings to this team and what he does on not only game day, but in practice.”
Adams is intense on the field, which has made him a favorite of fans, coaches and teammates. He has regularly affected games with his play since being selected sixth overall in the 2017 NFL draft. Adams has developed into arguably the best safety in the league, and believes he has proven his value to the team.
That's why he was so angry last October when general manager Joe Douglas fielded phone calls from clubs inquiring about what it might take for the Jets to deal Adams. While Douglas set the price tag exorbitantly high, Adams felt Douglas should not have even entertained those conversations. It took a week for the safety to cool off and speak to Douglas and Gase again.
Gase, however, says there is no deep-rooted animosity between him and Adams.
“My relationship with Jamal has been good since the time I’ve gotten here,” Gase said. “We had a lot of discussions throughout the season trying to figure out ways to win. To me, we’ve always gotten along well. There’s been a lot of dialogue between us, especially about on- and off-the-field type topics.”
Adams chose to not participate in the team's voluntary offseason, which was held remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. Teams are currently scheduled to open mandatory training camp on July 28 — and Gase wouldn't speculate as to whether the Jets and Adams will be able to move forward together or if the situation might be irreparable.
“It's a tough part of the business,” Gase reiterated. “And our job is to work through difficult times and tough situations and find solutions.”
AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed.
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