Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams continues to face his unsolvable and extremely personal riddle involving the New York Jets.
In the Breaking Bad saga’s third season, a desperate Walter White wanted nothing more than to have his family back. At this stage, his wife, Skyler, knew about his evil dealings on the other side of the law and just couldn’t bring herself to fully accept this sudden stranger.
Walter, the chemist and data-driven man, convinced himself a formula was somewhere in the ether just waiting to be plucked and pulled into reality. There just had to be some perfect collection of words that could properly convey his feelings en route to family unity.
“I’m saying that I lived too long,” Walter said to Jesse while they took some time away from hilarious attempts at catching a fly. “You want them to actually miss you. You want their memories of you to be … but she just won’t … she just won’t understand. I mean, no matter how well I explain it, these days she just has this … this … I mean, I truly believe there exists some combination of words. There must exist certain words in a certain specific order that can explain all of this, but with her, I just can’t ever seem to find them.”
Walter White never could find the perfect combination of words. Neither has Jamal Adams.
The former New York Jets star who broke bad last offseason spoke to the media on Friday. Other than stale, boring and completely predictable, Adams’s vibe oozed an uncomfortable feel.
— Robby Sabo (@RobbySabo) December 12, 2020
There is no avoiding this topic. Adams isn’t volunteering to discuss his former team (at least not on this day). Since the late-July trade that sent him to Seattle, Adams hasn’t been able to fully stop himself from talking about the Jets. And the deeper Adams travels with his words, the harder it is to realize his true thoughts.
“Adam Gase, we had a solid relationship,” Adams said on Friday. “I don’t hate Adam Gase. I don’t hate Adam Gase. I just didn’t feel he handled certain situations well as a head coach. That’s just my opinion. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, just like you guys are. I have no hate towards Adam. Obviously, things are not going in a positive way in New York, with the record. … If Adam comes up to me and shakes my hand, I’ll shake his hand. There’s no love lost. Listen, I’m at peace, man.”
Once it begins, the floodgates allow a tidal wave to arrive.
Cozying up to Adam Gase as a head coach isn’t the most popular thing. That’s no secret. Perhaps that’s why Adams used the Gase angle as the final blow that sent him on a plane to the Great Northwest.
His one-on-one interview with the New York Daily News was that final salvo. Still a member of the Football Jets, Adams decided to air dirty laundry for the world to consume. Similar to Walter White, “to hell with family” was the unconscious motive. Go get that green and seek personal victory in spite of the obvious consequences, and he did this despite fully understanding the value of team and family.
Prior to the interview, he, of course, said his goodbyes to Marcus Maye in a public manner (while still a Jet), told the world he’s “trying to get to Dallas” and even lost his mind publicly when it was reported that the Jets were “shopping” him during the 2019 trade deadline. Rumors even persisted that Adams was working the deadline as a way out. (Though never proven as fact, the thought lingers in the ether alongside Walter White’s perfect combination of words.)
Long story short, Joe Douglas brought in a haul for the kid. Adams responded in style.
— FootballLeben (@FootballLeben) July 26, 2020
Suddenly, Adams is a cigar smoker (mysteriously around the very same time The Last Dance debuted). Instantaneously, all love was lost. Football professionals are independent contractors, which means they must look out for No. 1 when navigating through tough waters. Then again, looking out for No. 1 oftentimes coincides with looking out for the team—one of the most important attributes good general managers look for in a player.
Adams explained that his decision to nuke the place came down to value.
“The guys that make the decisions over there, they just didn’t value me like Seattle does and I appreciate that,” he said on Friday. “There’s no hard feelings towards them. They had different views. I had a different view, but at the end of the day, I’m just happy to be where I am and I have an organization that believes in me, believes I can get it done and thinks highly of me. That’s all I can ask for, man. It’s just all about respect for me.”
It’s true: Douglas and the Jets didn’t value Adams the same way the Seahawks currently do. If that wasn’t the case, the Jets would have re-signed him as soon as possible. But perhaps that devaluing should be respected. Maybe it’s just a sign of things to come in Jet land.
Seattle’s defense ranks second to last with 407.4 yards surrendered per game. The Jets defense sans Adams is two spots better. Dishing out big dollars to a safety doesn’t make much sense for a team at the discovery stage of a total overhaul. Only an Aaron Donald interior-type, prolific edge rusher or lockdown corner made sense for the Jets at this stage.
Come to think of it, wasn’t it the lack of winning and a bout with depression that Adams couldn’t deal with anymore?
“Man, we finished 7-9, right, and we came into the locker room, and everybody was happy, clapping it up and it was just like, ‘What do I really want?’” Adams said in mid-November while on the “All Things Covered” podcast. “Can I stand this again? Because bro I fought depression in New York, and I’m man enough to say … I fought depression bro.”
There are those aforementioned floodgates opening. A myriad of reasons to escape a tough situation has always been the backdrop of the Adams-Jets saga. Was it the money? Was it the value? Was it the losing? Was it Adam Gase? Was it the horrible fans who Adams pointed to a few times via social media?
Well, today the fans aren’t so horrible.
“At the end of the day, I did what’s best for my family and myself and my career,” Adams said on Friday. “I took a chance on myself at 24 years old. Many people didn’t think that a 24-year-old would get out of his situation. They thought I was crazy. They thought I was a baby. They thought everything, but I stuck to it. I knew who I was as a person, I know my worth, and like I said, I have nothing but respect to the Jets organization. I pray one day that they do figure it out and they do get the ball rolling because the fans deserve it up there. All of the Jet fans deserve a positive season, a chance at the playoffs, a chance at the run.
“They deserve that because they’re so passionate, they’re so loyal to the Jets. Like I said, nothing but respect and love. I’ll always understand where I came from, who drafted me because that plays a part in the journey. Like I always say, the marathon continues.”
Too many words. Too many thoughts.
Nobody knows the true reasons he did what he did, not even Jamal, the kid who cloaks himself in today’s superstar athlete era, the space and time that rewards those who capture as many rings as possible—something that really began with Michael Jordan, one of Adams’s heroes who took center stage in The Last Dance this past April and May.
So far, he has his wish. The 8-4 Seahawks are just a half-game behind the surging Los Angeles Rams, while the Jets’ 0-12 record places them in the laughingstock category. By the time Sunday is over, Adams will most likely be a member of a 9-4 football team as he greets former teammates near midfield with the cameras following closely.
Don’t think for one moment Jamal Adams is a bad kid. Confused? Perhaps. A little selfish? Probably. Impatient? You better believe it. Playing the new-era media to his advantage in this topsy-turvy sports world? Absolutely. But no part of his game demonstrates over-the-top ill-intent. He’d have no problem avoiding any Jet-related discussion after the fact if that was the case. The cold-blooded individual says “next question” and carries on as if nothing of consequence ever happened.
Adams hasn’t been able to stay away from discussing the Jets up to this point, and it hurts him that his reputation has taken such a hit. It has to kill him that he felt he was forced to do the unthinkable last offseason while part of a team, a family—something he greatly values in this life. It’s what fuels the Adams-Jets discussion to this very day.
At the conclusion of Sunday’s game is when the true test begins. There exists no Jets-Seahawks matchup for another four years (although Adams could be on his third team by then). If he goes about his Jets-related business with a touch of grace and very few words, he will move closer to the resolution he seeks. If the Jets continue to come out of his mouth at 500 words a minute, he’ll be continuing the unsolvable riddle he’s been trying to conquer since late July 2020.
The question: “How does he properly convey a legitimate reason for why he nuked 1 Jets Drive this past offseason?”
The answer: It’s impossible no matter how many Super Bowls the kid wins.
The riddle: “How does he go on while not feeling horrible about the way he acted to get his way?”
The answer: He can’t, at least not right now, not yet.
Jamal Adams isn’t Walter White, not by a long shot. There are just a bunch of similarities. Both individuals value family, both look to play the game and both think calculated answers are available to every problem (whether self-inflicted or not).
Jamal Adams feels terrible about the way things went down, and he thinks he can conquer unsolvable problems with an overabundance of words. He’s simply always under the false assumption that satisfaction is available to everybody if he can formulate the perfect message—an impossibility at this very moment thanks to his offseason actions.