Contract talks between the Jets and star safety Jamal Adams are not moving quickly and tension is rising between the two sides.
Sources confirmed the Jets and Adams had talked several times before the draft, but they are at a stalemate over when Adams will get a contract extension. The Pro Bowl safety wants a new deal now, but the team wants to wait.
The Jets have not changed their position, according to sources. They want to keep Adams long term, but they are in no rush to get an extension done. General manager Joe Douglas said in February he wants Adams to be “a Jet for life.”
The Jets do not feel urgency to get a deal done now because Adams is under contract for two more years. There is also uncertainty around the finances of the NFL, with COVID-19 probably having a major effect on the 2020 season and league revenue.
Adams said in January that he wants a new contract before the 2020 season. He is eligible for one under the collective bargaining agreement since he just completed his third season. He is due to make $3.5 million in 2020. The Jets picked up his fifth-year option for 2021, when he would make $9.9 million. The team could also use the franchise tag to keep Adams in 2022.
ESPN reported Adams’ camp is upset and feels the Jets are dragging their feet. Adams has not participated in the team’s virtual offseason program, which began last month, a sign of his unhappiness with the contract situation.
Trade rumors have surrounded Adams since the trade deadline last October, when the Jets had conversations with multiple teams about dealing him. A source said there have been no meaningful trade discussions about Adams since then. The Jets have no desire to trade Adams, sources said.
It is unclear how much money Adams is looking for. He likely wants to be the league’s highest-paid safety, which would cost around $15 million per year. The Bears signed Eddie Jackson to an extension after last season that pays him an average of $14.6 million per season. There has been speculation Adams might want to be the highest-paid player on the Jets and top C.J. Mosley’s $17 million per year.
The Jets selected Adams, 24, with the No. 6-overall pick in the 2017 draft. He has become the best player on the team, making the Pro Bowl the past two years and being named All-Pro last season.
Even with all Adams has accomplished, it would be unusual for him to get an extension before his fourth season. Just 15 of the 191 first-round picks from 2011-16 received contract extensions after their third season and just four of those were defensive players. Rams star Aaron Donald had to wait for a new deal until after his fourth season.
The Panthers did give Christian McCaffrey an extension this offseason. McCaffrey was taken two picks after Adams in 2017. But other stars from the 2017 draft, like Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, have not received extensions yet.
The next step in the contract drama figures to come if there is a training camp. Adams can stay away but can be fined $40,000 a day for doing so. There has been a strain between Adams and the team since the Jets talked about trading him last October, most notably to his hometown Cowboys. He expressed frustration with Douglas and coach Adam Gase afterward. Things calmed down but now tensions are high again, and this does not feel like it is going away anytime soon.
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