Jamal Adams wanted a longterm deal with the New York Jets, but when talks got tabled until 2021, he became furious. What happened next was a plastering of angst by the All-Pro safety across social media to help facilitate his trade demands, and by the time he publicly questioned the leadership of the general manager, head coach and owner, the relationship had already become decimated and a trade to send him to the Seattle Seahawks -- where he eventually landed in a blockbuster deal -- was underway. Although it was the Seahawks who acquired Adams, it was the Dallas Cowboys who felt the brunt of his overtures, as the 24-year-old incessantly aimed his affection at his hometown team.
Given the already present wedge between Jets GM Joe Douglas and the Cowboys, however,.
And with new reports of Adams attempting to deal himself to the Cowboys behind the scenes as well, what was virtual nil quickly devolved to a near-literal impossibility. To help hasten his trade and with the hopes of it being to the Cowboys, Adams reportedly lobbied several Dallas players privately -- per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network -- asking them to apply pressure to owner/general manager Jerry Jones and the rest of the team's front office to call Douglas and make the trade happen. Douglas, of course, caught wind of what Adams was doing under the table, as did his former Jets teammates, and all were none too pleased.
It's unclear if the unnamed Cowboys players did him the favor of nudging Jones, but he didn't budge, with sources confirming to CBS Sports there was no follow-up call placed to New York from Dallas.
The team had continued interest in the two-time Pro Bowler going as far back as October 2019, when they failed to sway the Jets into sending him to North Texas, but Douglas became infuriated with the Cowboys for what he feels was a leak on their part that ultimately led to the mess with Adams he was forced to clean up. That inherently meant the Cowboys were the last team he'd want to send his best player to, barring the sort of offer that would knock his socks off -- e.g., the one lobbed across the country by the Seahawks.
The biggest monkey wrench in Adams' plan to land with the Cowboys wasn't simply what happened in October, but also (and more so) what transpired this offseason. By taking an approach that eerily mirrored that of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas in his exit from the Seahawks (insert additional irony here), Adams constantly made it clear Dallas was his most sought-after landing spot. For Douglas, whom the Cowboys brass was already on bad terms with, seeing Adams make trade demands and then try to dictate where he'd play next was equivalent to a slap across the face. After all, the Jets never said they didn't want to pay Adams, but instead that they'd begin talks in 2021 instead of 2020.
For perspective, following the trade, it's now been discovered Adams-- instead agreeing to no talks in 2020 at all. So while he became upset at the Jets for wanting to table talks, he's doing just that with his new team before he puts on their uniform.
As for the Cowboys, a team who saw the Jets balk at their October offer while countering with packages that included either Tyron Smith or Zack Martin -- two perennial All-Pro offensive linemen -- the only way they'd again take their ongoing interest in Adams to the next level was if they felt the Jets would negotiate in good faith. The belief in Dallas, separate sources tell CBS Sports, is that Douglas would gouge the asking price on the Cowboys even above what they ultimately got from the Seahawks. The price hike would've likely already been present based on what did and did not take place in October, but Adams' actions in so desperately trying to become a Cowboy only served to further ruin the stew.
He didn't run into the locker room physically, as Earl Thomas did, but he ran into it virtually. And, like Thomas, the incumbent team then wanted nothing to do with striking a deal with the Cowboys. So, in the end, the thing Adams wanted most became the thing he was least likely to obtain, and all because he tried way too hard to get it.