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Jamal Adams Trade: Preliminary Winners and Losers

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

We won’t know the true legacy of the Jamal Adams trade for years, but there are some who stand to benefit from the trade and others whose life just became more difficult. Let’s take a look at the early impact.

Winners

New York Jets

You could argue about how the relationship between Adams and Jets reached a breaking point. You might not be happy about the Jets traded their best player less than a week before the start of training camp.

What cannot be debated is that the Jets got tremendous value in this trade. Receiving a pair of first round picks, a third round pick, and a viable replacement in the lineup (while sending a fourth round pick out with Adams) is as good of a return as any NFL team has received trading a player in recent memory. In fact it’s virtually identical to the return the Denver Broncos got eleven years ago when they traded away their 25 year old starting quarterback (back in the days when Jay Cutler seemed promising).

The last time the Jets were in a similar situation was seven years ago with Darrelle Revis. In that situation the team was reactive and gave away a lot of leverage by waiting until the last minute and allowing leaks to the media which undermined their position. This time the Jets were proactive and traded Adams at the point where his value was highest.

Joe Douglas

I wrote the following last month:

This is Joe Douglas’ biggest test so far.

Joe Douglas’ life as Jets general manager has been pretty easy. He was hired along with a lot positive media attention. Nobody could blame him for the team’s struggles in 2019. It wasn’t the team he built. This year if the Jets disappoint, fans will likely put much more blame on Adam Gase than him.

The Adams situation will likely be his first major test. Can he deflate the situation and get Adams to buy into being a member of the Jets for the long term?

If not, can he maximize the return in a trade? It is a tricky situation. On the one hand, I mentioned how Adams’ value won’t get any higher as time goes on. On the other hand, it isn’t in Douglas’ interest to make a panic deal right now for a lame return like only a first and a third round pick or a player like Michael Gallup and a day two pick.

Douglas will need to strike the right balance waiting for the right deal to come along while not waiting so long that Adams’ value drops. He needs to thread the needle the way Jacksonville did with Jalen Ramsey. It is easier said than done.

Douglas got an A+ on this test. He didn’t panic and send Adams on the first plane out of town. He never forgot the leverage he held. Adams is under contract for two more seasons. There was no need to deal him until the right offer came along. But once it came along he needed to act. Whether or not it was actually true, Douglas effectively used the media to send the message that the Jets were perfectly content to keep Adams unless a team made an enormous offer. There were plenty of articles across the internet by NFL writers saying their team should “take advantage” of the situation and trade for Adams at a discount. Douglas’ actions ensured there would be no discount.

Marcus Maye

I never really bought into the idea that the Jets couldn’t afford to pay both of their safeties, but Adams’ departure makes it more likely Maye will get a long-term extension from the Jets.

Jets Fans

Yesterday GGN member Rampantjet22 left the following comment here:

Can we all agree that the best part of this trade is not how it’s going

to effect our team in the present or future… but that it’s going to be SO much more fun talking about/ doing mocks for the next 2 years. Really it’s going to be a blast. Unleash the madden scenarios.

While using the picks to select a core of young stars would definitely be better than the speculation, mock drafts will indeed be fun these next two seasons for fans.

Jamal Adams

What can you say? He demanded the Jets to trade him to one of seven teams. In the end the Jets traded him to one of those teams.

Losers

Adam Gase

If you subscribe to the notion that this is a make or break year for Gase, the best player on the team being traded certainly won’t help his cause. There might not have even been a year two for Gase if not for Adams’ 2019 performance. While the trade could greatly benefit the Jets in the long run, there isn’t much doubt it hurts the 2020 Jets and reduces the chances of a successful season. The head coach who benefits from this might be somebody else.

Gregg Williams

Williams is in a similar position to Gase. The Jets gave Williams a difficult job last year. Now they’re given him an even more difficult job. Adams lined up all over the field spending significant time in the box, at deep safety, in the slot, and even as an edge rusher. Losing his versatility likely limits what Williams will be able to do schematically this season. The Jets’ December win over Miami which Adams missed with an ankle sprain might provide a glimpse into the future. The Dolphins put together seven scoring drives in that game, but all were field goals. We could see a conservative Jets defense content with surrendering yardage and looking to make plays in the tight quarters of the red zone to prevent touchdowns.

Ashtyn Davis

Davis had to look at the possible trade of Adams as an opening to claim a starting job as a rookie, but the deal brought a starting safety to the Jets in Bradley McDougald. The third round pick might need to wait a year to step into the lineup.

Jets fans who wanted to trade Adams to the worst team possible even if the return wasn’t good

You can admit it. Getting two first round picks and a third rounder is a lot better than just sending him to a bad team.