Joe Douglas and the New York Jets will exercise the fifth-year option on the rookie contract of strong safety Jamal Adams.
The New York Jets are expected to make a critical yet expected move regarding their best player.
Adams, 24, is coming off his best professional season. The first-team All-Pro was named to his second Pro Bowl and finished the season with 6.5 sacks, 7 pass deflections, an interception returned for a touchdown and 75 tackles.
Unfortunately, as is the case in professional sports at times, the salary does not currently match the productivity.
Adams ranks 27th league-wide in average-per-season earnings by a safety. He’s scheduled to collect $3.5 million in guaranteed salary this coming season for a cap hit of $7.17 million. The fifth-year option allows the Jets to lock him up for the 2021 season, the possibility most first-rounders (since the Sam Bradford class) have had to endure.
In terms of the longterm outlook, general manager Joe Douglas hasn’t changed his tune once.
“My stance on Jamal hasn’t changed,” Douglas said after the draft. “At some point, we’re going to get together with him and his representatives.”
Despite his brutal honesty in picking up the phone if a team calls, Douglas has mentioned wanting to make Adams a “Jet for life” on numerous occasions.
Complicating matters a bit is the current world situation. The organization’s virtual offseason program begins Monday—with no Adams. Whether or not that’s a specific, direct message to the organization is something nobody knows.
At the very best, it’s not ideal. But head coach Adam Gase understands there’s nothing he can do about it.
“As far as with Jamal (Adams), this is voluntary. That’s just what it is,” Gase said on a Monday conference call. “That’s the CBA rules and there’s really nothing we can do about that.”
"As far as with Jamal (Adams), this is voluntary. That's just what it is," Adam Gase on his best player.
"That's the CBA rules and there's really nothing we can do about that." #Jets
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) April 27, 2020
There’s no question Jamal Adams deserves to get paid. He’s the best safety in the league.
There’s also no question great NFL teams are built with shrewd salary-cap strategies in mind. Teams make hay via value, thanks to rookie deals. So while it’s important to keep Adams here longterm, Douglas has made every right move along the way up until this point.
This fifth-year option is just that next correct move.