Addressing trade speculation, general manager Joe Douglas reiterated Monday the goal is to sign Adams to a contract extension, but he hedged by saying he will listen to offers.
“The plan would be for Jamal to be here long term,” Douglas said in a pre-draft conference call with reporters. “Again, I’ve also made it known I have to do what’s in the best interest of the team. If other teams call to talk about players, I’ll listen.
“Going into this draft, my intent isn’t to move any players. But if a team calls, we’re going to have conversations.”
The All-Pro safety, signed for 2020 and 2021 (option year), apparently is unhappy with his contract situation. ESPN reported last week that Adams is planning to skip the voluntary off-season program, which begins virtually on April 27.
The outspoken Adams hasn’t addressed the matter on social media, but he said in early February that he expects an extension this offseason. He wants to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety, and there are some who believe he wants to be the highest-paid player on the Jets, surpassing linebacker C.J. Mosley ($17 million per year).
Adams is due to make $3.6 million this year. In fact, he already has received $2.8 million in the form of a roster bonus that was paid last month.
Douglas acknowledged that he hasn’t spoken to Adams any time recently, adding, “The plan is going to be to connect at some point after draft.”
Because they control Adams for two years, not counting a potential franchise tag, the Jets are in no hurry to extend his deal. That won’t sit well with Adams, creating the possibility of a standoff.
Douglas declined to comment on whether he has received trade interest from other teams. He entertained offers last fall at the trading deadline — the Dallas Cowboys were one of the teams — which infuriated Adams and prompted him to lash out at Douglas on social media.
By the end of the season, Adams said he had settled his differences with management. He also has stated his desire to remain with the Jets, but there may have been a shift in his attitude due to the lack of progress in contract talks.
“My opinion on Jamal has been consistent since I arrived here,” Douglas said. “Jamal is an unbelievable young player. Our plan is to keep Jamal here for a long time.”
The Jets, who own four picks in the top 79, could add significant draft capital by dealing Adams. But they’d also lose their best player. Adams, 24, a first-round pick in 2017, has made two Pro Bowls and is regarded as their team leader on defense