The historic offer that could keep Jamal Adams at center of Jets future
The bottom line for Jets general manager Joe Douglas: To show Jamal Adams the money, or not to show Jamal Adams the money.
The bottom line will be arriving in the offseason, with Adams under contract through the 2020 season and Douglas shopping for a new wall in front of Sam Darnold, a cornerback or two, a pass rusher and a wide receiver.
Douglas, who already has procured a third-rounder for Leonard Williams and a fifth-rounder that could become a fourth-rounder if the Giants sign him, will need all the draft capital he can get. Adams would fetch a bounty.
Douglas will have to ask himself:
Can I afford to build around a safety or not?
Then he should ask Gregg Williams.
Then he should ask Adam Gase.
Then he should ask Adams’ teammates.
He won’t have to ask Christopher Johnson. The owner seems to love Adams.
When you have so many other holes to fill, it does not usually make sense … or cents … to build around a safety.
But this safety you build around.
Show him the money.
It doesn’t matter to me whether Douglas will be shopping his most valuable assets or simply fielding calls about them, it would have to be an offer no one in his right mind could possibly refuse for me to part ways with Jamal Adams:
Leader. Captain. Heart and Soul. Playmaker. Lethal Weapon. Alpha dog. Durable. Jet From Day 1. Twenty-four years old.
Before Raiders owner Mark Davis showed Jon Gruden the money — a 10-year, $100 million deal that is beginning to pay dividends — Gruden agreed with Adams’ predraft self-evaluation.
“I like Jamal Adams with the first pick of the draft,” Gruden said. “I think he’s the best player.”
Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson would beg to differ, of course, but the comparisons now should be with fellow safeties Kevin Byard, Landon Collins, Earl Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, Harrison Smith and Reshad Jones.
The Titans in preseason made Byard, who turned 26 in August, the highest-paid safety in NFL history.
Byard joined Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed as the only safeties in the PFF era (2006-present) to register at least 15 total combined pass-breakups and interceptions (8) in a single season in 2017. Byard held opposing quarterbacks to a 55.8 passer rating in 2018, when he had 90 tackles, three tackles for a loss and two sacks.
His contract: 5 years, $70.5 million ($31 million guaranteed).
Collins (Redskins): 6 years, $84 million ($44.5 million guaranteed).
Jones (Dolphins): 5 years, $60 million ($35 million guaranteed).
Thomas (Ravens): 4 years, $55 million ($32 million guaranteed)
Smith (Vikings): 5 years, $51.25 million ($28.578 million guaranteed)
Mathieu (Texans): 3 years, $42 million (26.8 million guaranteed).
Jones is 31. Thomas and Smith are 30 years old. Honey Badger Mathieu is 27. Collins is 25.
Of course Adams is not Aaron Donald (or Tom Brady), even if he believes that he belongs on that stratospheric pedestal. Adams is not the ballhawk that Byard has proven to be. But he is everything else.
His insane sack explosion — three against the Redskins, five in the last two games — will not continue, especially against better opponents. Adams will never be Lawrence Taylor, of course, although he plays with a similar fire and hate-to-lose mentality. But it is clear that Williams has learned how to deploy Adams as a king chess piece that offenses must game plan and account for.
He is built for this market. Nothing about New York scares him. He’ll never flinch. He has cleared the air with Douglas and Gase. He wants to be a Jet For Life. Dave Gettleman might have called him a Gold Jacket Guy by now. He isn’t trouble off the field (although a filter would be helpful on Twitter).
Douglas currently has $46.4 million to spend in 2020, a number that will climb once he sheds some of the dead wood.
The NFL salary cap rose from $177.2 million in 2018 to $188.2 million in 2019 and is projected to grow to $200 million in 2020.
Where there’s a will, there’s always a way in the NFL.
The Post’s offer that makes sense for both sides: five years, $75 million, $33 million guaranteed.
It would make Adams the first $15 million-a-year safety and he would be in line for a second mega-deal at age 29.
In return, Adams would give the Jets a hometown discount (of sorts) on the guaranteed money, which represents his jersey number just as Byard’s represented his.
And remember, while Collins’ deal involves more total money, Adams would get his contract one year before Collins got his. From 2015-18, Collins registered 329 tackles in 59 games as a Giant with eight INTs, 32 passes defensed and four sacks. In his 42 games as a Jet, Adams has registered 254 tackles with two INTs, 24 passes defensed and 11.5 sacks. I bet the Redskins would have paid Adams quite handsomely on the free agent market.
The bottom line: barring Jerry Jones, for instance, mimicking Marlon Brando, show him the money.
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