It was a blockbuster trade waiting to happen, with the Dallas Cowboys thirsting to land Jamal Adams ahead of the NFL trade deadline, and with the New York Jets engaging in intense conversation throughout the day (and before Oct. 29, as well) in the hopes they could land massive compensation in exchange for the All-Pro safety. In the end, they never truly got close, and so all the cigars were tucked away.
New England Patriots in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2020, that rivaled the one they made for wide receiver Amari Cooper in 2018, when they gave up a first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders. And yet, there was Adams, the one player whose talent fit a need so perfectly that it could launch the Dallas defense into the stratosphere, warranting a u-turn from owner Jerry Jones -- who recently made it clear to not expect a Cooper-like trade this time around.via trade with the
The problem was there was a ton of ground to cover in conversations with the Jets, as I reported throughout the day, and we now know just how much grass needed to be mowed to find pay dirt. The Jets were initially asking for compensation as high as a first-round pick in both 2020 and 2021, along with a third pick on Day 2 in either of those years, a source tells me.
A separate source confirmed to Jane Slater of NFL Network that the Cowboys offered up a first-round pick in 2020 and a Day 3 pick -- year undetermined -- but it didn't meet the bar the Jets had set to land Adams. They would bend in New York just a bit, if you can call it that, by reportedly moving to a first-round pick in 2020 along with two second-round picks. Considering just how much the Cowboys depend on the draft to fuel their team both now and later, even the faux compromise by the Jets was too much for Jones and Co. to stomach for a strong safety, no matter the caliber. This all led to speculation the Jets never intended to trade Adams in the first place.
"At the end of the day I don't think [the Jets] really wanted to let him go," a source told Slater.
So where do things go from here for all sides?
Well, the Cowboys will carry on with their season and look for improved play from strong safety Jeff Heath along with rookie sixth-round pick Donovan Wilson, the latter having not been given much playing time in games as of yet. The Jets, however, sit at 1-6 on the year and have now alienated their best defensive player, to the extent what he viewed as "going behind his back" in discussing a possible trade to either the Cowboys or Baltimore Ravens only days after he notified them he didn't want to be moved; and wherein he states he was assured he wouldn't be.
Ultimately, he wasn't, but only because the Cowboys and Ravens wouldn't bend the knee and pay a king's ransom to land him.
With that wedge now firmly driven between Adams and the Jets, and the Cowboys still very interested in him, sources tell me the team will again try to spark a trade with the Jets once the new league year begins in March. The asking price may come down a bit due to Adams being disgruntled and entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2020, which lends to unlikely odds he'll sign an extension with a team he feels betrayed by. That all works in the Cowboys favor, and the first-round pick they offered in October will still be on the table when both sides speak again in the offseason, possibly along with the Day 3 pick they were willing to toss in initially.
In other words, the Jets held all the leverage this Fall, but Adams gutted it by openly revealing what took place, and now the Cowboys have a sharpened edge in the fight for the former first-round pick -- who they deem more talented than any safety in the 2020 prospect pool.
Much like the Earl Thomas saga that drew on for quite some time, this is far from over, folks.