1 Year Later: Revisiting the Jamal Adams Trade

Stephen Zantz offers his thoughts on the Jamal Adams trade.

On July 25th, 2020, the Jets made a franchise changing trade of their best player, which expedited the rebuild process that GM Joe Douglas is in the process of. The Jets sent Jamal Adams and a 2022 4th round pick to Seattle in exchange for a 2021 1st Rounder, a 2022 1st rounder, a 2021 3rd rounder, and S Bradley McDougald. I decided to revisit this trade and how it has impacted the Jets then, now, and going forward.

Last summer was full of drama for the Jets when Jamal Adams decided to go public with his desire to be traded. This put Joe Douglas in an awkward position given the fact that Adams was under team control for 2 more seasons (Adams’ 5th year option was picked up). As someone who was a big fan of Jamal, I was very against moving him because he was by far the best player on the team.

After about a month of Adams whining on social media and bashing the team to the NYDN in an interview with Manish Mehta, Joe Douglas pulled the trigger on a trade. My initial thoughts were “Wow, what a haul!” The immediate thought process among fans and media was that the Jets were going to be a worse football team than they were the day before. That was proven true after the Jets finished 2020 with a record of 2-14. Had the Jets not traded Adams, they probably would have been just as bad but might have stolen another win or two. The point is that Adams would not have been making or breaking the Jets’ season.

The trade was, and still is, about the future roster construction that Douglas envisions. The Jets have a brand new quarterback and a completely different coaching staff than they did a year ago. The roster has also been remade but isn’t close to a finished product. The Adams trade enabled Douglas to be aggressive and move up in the 2021 draft to acquire Alijah Vera-Tucker, the consensus top rated interior OL in this years’ class. If AVT becomes the player we hope and expect him to be, the Jets won this trade. Adams was up and down last year in Seattle, as he was injured and did get beat multiple times. Adams, while talented and versatile, does not play a premium position in today’s NFL.

As we move into the 2021 season, Jamal Adams is still not on a new contract and the Jets still have another 1st round pick coming from Seattle in 2022. Depending on how this season plays out, the Jets can really solidify their position as big time winners of this franchise altering trade that shapes Saleh, Wilson, and Douglas up well to build a winning program for the next decade.

Fun Fact: Dee Milliner has more career interceptions than Jamal Adams despite only playing 2 NFL seasons.

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