Florham Park, N.J. — Jamal Adams stepped into Joe Douglas’ office last Friday and told the New York Jets general manager he was exactly where he wants to be.
Now, and in the future.
He told coach Adam Gase the same thing. But just a few days later, it appears the frustrated safety and the struggling franchise could be headed for a nasty divorce in the offseason.
“I’m excited to be here right now as we speak,” Adams said Wednesday. “But for the future, I don’t know. I really don’t.
“I thought I did, but I don’t right now.”
That’s because of what has transpired since that discussion, with Adams bothered that Douglas even listened to trade offers for him before the NFL’s deadline Tuesday to deal players — despite the conversation the two had just days earlier.
“I know he has a job to do and I respect that,” Adams said. “But I hold myself in a high regard. I’ve done everything they’ve asked me to do since I’ve been here for the three years, so I didn’t take that lightly. I really didn’t.
“It definitely hurt me.”
The 24-year-old Adams was the Jets’ first-round pick in 2017 and quickly developed into one of the best safeties in the league, with him being selected for the Pro Bowl after last season. His hard-hitting style and emotional approach also made him a fast fan favorite, a player for whom Jets followers thought they could root for years.
But, with New York 1-6 and already looking to the future by dealing defensive lineman Leonard Williams to the Giants for two draft picks Monday, opposing teams started calling Douglas to see who else might be available.
Adams became mentioned in trade talks, as did running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Robby Anderson, among others. Douglas stood pat, though, insisting Tuesday night he didn’t shop any of those players — and the offers the Jets received didn’t match the value the team has for them.
But moments after Douglas spoke to reporters, Adams took to social media and wrote on Twitter how the GM “went behind my back” to shop him to other teams. And, Adams didn’t back down from that Wednesday, saying he heard the team was shopping him from people he trusts, including his agent.
“I hold myself at a high level,” he said. “The Rams, they don’t take calls on Aaron Donald. The Patriots don’t take calls on Tom Brady. You know what I mean? That’s where I hold myself, in that regard. So regardless of how I understand that, you have a job to do. That’s how I took at it.”
Adams said both Douglas and Gase asked to speak with him to talk through the situation, which Douglas called “a simple miscommunication” during a radio interview Tuesday night. But the safety refused to sit down with them.
“I’m not ready to talk,” Adams said. “That’s just where I’m at with it. I’m not in that place right now.”
There are some semantics involved: Adams says fielding calls – even when the Jets set the price tag exorbitantly high — means the team was “shopping” him; Douglas insists he learned that when teams call, you listen — but he never actively looked to deal Adams.
“For three years, I’ve done nothing but work my butt off, continue to improve, be a great leader for the team, be a great teammate,” Adams said. “When you see certain things like that and you hear about it and you get calls, you’re in shock a little bit.”
Adams is still signed through next season and the team has an option for 2021, but it’s clear there’s lots of uncertainty surrounding his future with the Jets.
He confirmed an ESPN report Tuesday by acknowledging he told friend and analyst Ryan Clark that if he had to be dealt, he’d have welcomed being sent to Dallas — his hometown team. The Cowboys even tweeted: “The #DallasCowboys had interest but couldn’t land Jamal Adams.”
Still, Adams insisted he’s “happy” and “excited” to still be with the Jets. Whether that remains the case after the season could depend on the conversations he eventually has with Douglas and Gase.
“There needs to be a talk when I’m ready,” Adams said. “Can I say it’s going to fix it? I don’t know. I don’t know how they’re feeling about everything. But all I can do is continue to be a professional, continue to be that leader that I am. I’m going to continue to be myself. I’m never going to change for anybody.”
Baker Mayfield’s frustration finally boiled over. The losing is beating him.
Annoyed with a reporter’s question about a drive at the end of the first half in last week’s loss at New England, the Browns fiery quarterback abruptly ended his weekly interview session and stormed off.
Mayfield, who is tied for the NFL lead with 12 interceptions, grew increasingly agitated when a reporter asked him about a failed two-minute drive in a 27-13 loss to the Patriots. The Browns were called for a penalty, which Mayfield said prevented them from moving the ball.
“Was I happy with the drive? No, we didn’t score points,” Mayfield chirped. “That’s the dumbest question you could ask. What?”
Mayfield then disgustedly walked away from the lectern and toward his locker.
Soon after, the former No. 1 overall pick went on Twitter to explain his dissatisfaction. Picked by some experts to win the AFC North, the Browns haven’t played up to enormous expectations and have lost three straight games.
“Everybody wants to hear the truth until they actually get it,” Mayfield wrote. “I am who I am and always have been. Don’t call it emotional when it’s convenient and then passion when it fits. I care about winning, so yeah I’m frustrated.
“If I was to act like it’s okay to lose, then y’all would say that I’ve gotten complacent. My sense of urgency is at an all time high. And if I offend anybody along the way. that’s too bad.”
The NFL received its lowest overall score in racial and gender hiring practices in 15 years, according a new diversity report.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released its annual racial and gender report card Wednesday, giving the NFL a B for racial hiring practices and a C-plus for gender hiring practices. This gave the NFL a combined B-minus grade for its overall score of 79.3%, a notable decrease from its score of 81.6% last year.
... The Chiefs remain hopeful that injured quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be available when they play the Vikings on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
... The Jaguars added rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew to the injury report with right shoulder soreness sustained in last week’s victory against the New York Jets.
... Washington interim coach Bill Callahan said left tackle Trent Williams failed his physical because of discomfort trying to put his helmet on.