Upset at the New York Jets for the better part of the last year, two-time Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams finally and officially requested a trade on Thursday, as CBS Sports insider Jason La Canfora reported. Most of Adams' motivation stems from an ongoing impasse over long-term contract negotiations, and while he's apparently willing to be dealt elsewhere without assurance of an extension from a new team, it appears that whomever opts to compensate Adams down the road will be in for a record-setting payout.
According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, at least one team that's looked into Adams, presumably as a potential trade acquisition, believes the All-Pro eventually wants to be paid more than $20 million per season -- or the equivalent of the top defensive players in the NFL.
Five different players currently average annual salaries above $20M: Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack ($23.5M), Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($22.5M), Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence ($21M), Indianapolis Colts defensive end DeForest Buckner ($21M) and Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark ($20.8M).
Not a single safety, however, tops even $15M annually, with the Bears' Eddie Jackson ($14.6M) ranking as the highest-paid at Adams' position. All indications, then, are that Adams at the very least intends to reset the safety market.
It's not that Adams' current team doesn't want to extend him, either. Jets general manager Joe Douglas has stated publicly he hopes to make the former first-round pick a "Jet for life," and multiple reports have indicated New York does not intend to trade the star safety. The problem is twofold: Adams reportedly still takes issue with the fact Douglas listened to trade offers for him during the 2019 season and, more importantly, the Jets appear adamant they will not negotiate a long-term deal until after the 2020 season, with Adams still under team control for at least another two years.
Philosophically speaking, if Adams truly desires close to or more than $20M per year on an extension, that could also prove problematic for Douglas, who's been forthright about wanting to build the Jets by investing heavily in the trenches. Market-setting salaries have tended to be preserved for edge rushers, impact D-linemen and premier skill positions.