Ever since Jamal Adams in , the All-Pro New York Jets safety has seemingly been on the verge of another clash with general manager Joe Douglas. The latter has repeatedly talked up the Jets' respect for Adams while at the same time publicly welcoming offers for the former first-round draft pick, and amid a , there was already speculation about Adams' future in the Big Apple before reports surfaced this week of .
With that in mind, here's a primer on the entire saga, with up-to-date reporting on the possibility of Adams landing elsewhere.
Do the Jets want to trade Adams?
Ideally, no. As ESPN's Rich Cimini and SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported, the Jets remain intent on signing the 24-year-old to a long-term deal; they simply prefer to wait on an extension, whereas Adams apparently wants their commitment before the 2020 season. With Adams under team control for at least two more seasons (and then potentially 2022, under a prospective franchise tag), New York doesn't appear in a hurry to pony up top dollar, and yet they reportedly still want to make Adams a "Jet for life."
Does Adams want to be traded?
Adams has reportedly requested a trade from the New York Jets with two years left on his rookie contract. While Adams has insisted in the past he didn't want to be traded unless he received a new contract from the Jets, it appears New York won't be the team to pay him. Both sides recently reached an impasse in contract talks as Adams was holding out from virtual workouts in hopes of getting a new deal done before the season (the Jets wanted to wait on a long-term deal).
Adams is scheduled for a cap hit of $7,172,348 this year (per Over The Cap) and $3.5 million is guaranteed. The Jets picked up his fifth-year option for $9.9 million in May, giving both sides more time to get a deal done. Based on this latest development, Adams has had enough with negotiations. He wants out.
Are the Jets listening to trade offers?
Yes, to an extent. Douglas has said so himself on multiple occasions,. Listening to offers, of course, is a lot different than seeking them out, and the Jets aren't even allowing Adams' agent to explore potential deals, per Robinson.
But the mere fact the team has so openly and repeatedly talked about the possibility of parting with Adams suggests they'll think long and hard about serious inquiries for the former LSU star. In fact, just this week, the possibility of a trade came up in conversations between the two sides, according to Cimini, although it's unclear how serious those discussions were.
The Jets would still like to get an extension done with Adams, but Adams is set to move on. They can at least gauge the market and sell to the highest bidder.
What could the Jets get for Adams?
According to Robinson, ex-Cowboys star Michael Irvin and former Dallas and New York columnist Gary Myers, the Jets' asking price is at least a first- and third-round pick. But it stands to reason the Jets could hold out for a lot more.
After all, they have most of the leverage considering they can feasibly retain Adams through 2022 -- and that Adams would be forfeiting money if he decided to hold out deep into the offseason. For reference, in 2019 the Jacksonville Jaguars got two first-rounders and a future fourth in exchange for Jalen Ramsey, a defensive back with a similar All-Pro pedigree and desire for a new deal.
Where does Adams want to go?
The initial list of teams Adams would welcome a trade to reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter included seven teams, but it appears there's at least one other in the mix. Here's a look at the teams he's interested in, including the Cowboys:
Baltimore Ravens: Would make sense Adams would want to play for "Wink" Martindale in Baltimore, playing in a secondary with Earl Thomas, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters. The Ravens are really tight in cap room for 2020, but have over $65 million in available space for 2021 (per Over The Cap). They also have a Day 1 and two Day 2 picks available to make a deal.
Dallas Cowboys: Dallas is still interested in Adams and even offered a first-round pick to get him at the trade deadline last year. They have some interesting trade chips in one of their trio of young wide receivers, but appear unlikely to part with any of them in a deal.
Cap space is getting tight in Dallas, who still hasn't reached a deal with Dak Prescott yet. Can they afford to trade multiple draft picks for Adams and sign him to a long-term deal? They have to let the Prescott negotiations continue first before even thinking about an Adams trade.
Kansas City Chiefs: Adding Adams would be a dream come true for the Chiefs, but Kansas City also has to pay Patrick Mahomes his record-setting contract at some point while also having more cap space available than the $6.2 million they have now.
Where would Adams play in Kansas City's secondary? The Chiefs already have Juan Thornhill and Tyrann Mathieu at safety, even though Adams has lined up in the box and at cornerback on certain plays for the Jets. Kansas City would likely have to part ways with one of them if the Chiefs want to bring Adams in Steve Spagnuolo's defense.
San Francisco 49ers: Never say never with the 49ers, especially if they have the opportunity to make the No. 1 pass defense even better with the addition of Adams. With Jaquiski Tartt heading into the final year of his deal, the 49ers can decide to give him a long-term deal or Adams. The answer should be obvious here.
Adams should fit in well with the 49ers culture and might wait a year to get his extension, knowing he's on a Super Bowl contender.
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks have a ton of cap space (over $67 million) heading into next offseason and are certainly not afraid to make a blockbuster deal (see Jadeveon Clowney, Sheldon Richardson, Marshawn Lynch). They'll have to give up much more for Adams, as pairing him with Quandre Diggs would give Seattle the best safety tandem in the division.
Seattle was 27th in the NFL in pass yards allowed, but fifth in pass touchdowns allowed. Adding Adams would drastically improve the pass yards allowed numbers and improve the 26th-ranked defense from a year ago.
Houston Texans: If there's one GM who can't be ruled out of any blockbuster, it's Bill O'Brien. Having saved money by cutting Tashaun Gipson one year into a big deal, they could still use an upgrade opposite Justin Reid. Considering their proximity to Dallas in comparison to the rest of the league and Adams' interest in returning to Texas, this could be a great fit.
Houston is tight in cap space and also has to sign Deshaun Watson to a mega-deal at some point. The Jets should call the Texans just to see if they can fleece O'Brien, similar to how the Cardinals orchestrated the DeAndre Hopkins deal.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles sacrificed a few more years of Malcolm Jenkins in order to secure Darius Slay at cornerback, but Adams is the kind of young, ascending star Howie Roseman would assuredly explore, especially considering his penchant for filling the safety spot on the veteran market. His physicality would charm coordinator Jim Schwartz in a heartbeat.
Adams would make the Eagles Super Bowl contenders, but cap space is extremely tight in Philadelphia in 2021 (the Eagles are a projected $50.6 million over the cap). Again, this is a blockbuster move Roseman would tend to make if he thinks the Eagles are close to winning a championship. The Eagles may stand pat here, but generational players like Adams are hard to come by and the Eagles love having dominant safeties. Adams and Slay would make Philadelphia's defense one of the best in the league.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: ESPN's Ryan Clark reported on Friday that Adams told him he'd also love to play in Tampa Bay. This move would reunite him with current Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who was the Jets' head coach when Adams was drafted. Along with Bowles, former New York defensive assistants Mike Caldwell and Kacy Rodgers are also on staff with Tampa Bay.
Are the Cowboys the favorites to land Adams?
With so many variables at this juncture of the situation, it's probably premature to crown any favorite. But if you had to identify a front-runner, it'd be Dallas. Sources tell CBS Sports insider Patrik Walker that with each passing day (and no new deal for Adams), the chances of the Cowboys revisiting trade talks for the safety increase.
Dallas was willing to part with a first-rounder in 2019, per Walker, and would likely entertain giving up both a first- and third-rounder this time around, albeit not until the timing is right and after attempts to negotiate the price down. Contrary to recent speculation, the 'Boys would have "no interest" in including wide receiver Michael Gallup as part of a potential deal. They're also prepared to "hang up the phone" on unreasonable demands, having put themselves in position not to overspend by pairing Xavier Woods with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Even so, their interest in Adams "didn't die."
Other possible fits for Adams
Cleveland Browns: Even after spending a second-rounder on Grant Delpit, the Browns could use more proven help than Karl Joseph, especially considering the latter's injury history. New coach Kevin Stefanski knows well the benefit of premier safeties, having run an offense that practiced against Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris in Minnesota. The Browns are also loaded with cap space for 2020.
Miami Dolphins: After auctioning their top talent in 2019, the Dolphins have kicked the pendulum in the opposite direction for 2020, emphasizing immediate help for their defense. Perhaps the most glaring hole is at safety, where Minkah Fitzpatrick no longer resides. With lots of cap room and a former safeties coach in Brian Flores running the show, why wouldn't they call?