Trading away your best player is never an ideal move, and the New York Jets are considering that reality if Jamal Adams doesn’t resolve his contract negotiation tactics. Adams is adamant that he wants an extension before the fourth year of his rookie deal, desiring a guaranteed contract that would help him avoid any relevant injury concerns.
It is always a smart idea for players to attempt an early cash-in, maximizing their talents and preparing for the worst. Adams certainly has the leverage considering his first three seasons in the NFL, having been an All-Pro first-team player in 2019.
Adams is set to earn $3,590,292 in his fourth year as an NFL player, per Spotrac. That is significantly less than the double-digit deal he is seeking. Reports have indicated he’s looking in the $18 million range per season, which would be a significant boost. Despite Adams proving his durability the past few years, the LSU product is ready to cash-in on his performance, knowing how easily the NFL can change someone’s life with an injury.
A similar scenario occurred last season when the Jets were considering trading Adams to the Dallas Cowboys. However, the Cowboys botched that scenario, and it seems as if the Jets have not forgotten their media leaks and how poorly they managed the negotiations.
Ultimately, if the Jets let Adams go, their defense will take a significant hit and their team as a whole. Losing him could be catastrophic to their goals of making the playoffs. Up against a tough Buffalo Bills team, rebuilding Miami Dolphins squad, and ever-competitive New England Patriots, the Jets have no easy way to the top of the division. They can use all the talent they can get, and losing their best player would set them back years.
Even if Adams doesn’t cash-in now, he will land a massive contract in 2021. If he remains healthy this upcoming season, I expect the Jets will give him the contract he’s looking for, but considering they have the opportunity to pick up his fifth-year option, extending him too early is not advisable considering the frequency of injuries in the NFL. This is a classic case of tug-of-war with team owners and players, all revolving around injury probability.