The importance of Joe Douglas and the New York Jets not caving to the media pressure involving Jamal Adams is immense.
Easy rarely equates to correct. It would be easy to pay Jamal Adams right now.
Joe Douglas and the New York Jets announcing a record-breaking contract for an NFL safety would signal peace, good vibes and uplifting songs around the fanbase’s campfire. It would also represent the “easy” thing to do.
These Jets, especially with Douglas at the helm, mustn’t cave to the media pressure involving their best player. It’s not the right move for long-term prosperity.
Based on merit, it makes all the sense in the world to extend No. 33. Earning first-team All-Pro honors, he’s coming off the best season of his young professional career. Adams racked up 6.5 sacks, 7 pass deflections, 75 tackles and an interception in 14 games for a team that won six of their last eight games.
Adams currently ranks 27th among safeties in salary. Naturally, he wants to rank first. Also naturally, the Jets want to reward the man.
Unnaturally for Adams, merit doesn’t drive the NFL; value does. While sports showcases its brightest light by way of a pure meritocracy, the NFL salary cap attempts to squash it time and again, and successfully so.
A total of 15 of 191 first-rounders from 2011 through 2016 have signed a contract extension prior to reaching the final team-option year of their rookie contract. As great as Adams is, he’s not special enough to shut down all possibilities—which is exactly the key, the thing Douglas is striving to keep alive.