Jamal Adams feels grossly underpaid as one of the top safeties in the NFL, and he’s asking for a contract extension right now. Despite coming to the negotiating table with one of their best players, the Jets are currently unwilling to agree to a long-term deal with the 24-year-old.
According to reports, contract extension talks have stalled out between Adams and New York. An already-tense situation is now expected to become even more unpleasant before any headway is made.
At the heart of the disagreement is the fact that Adams wants a new deal before the season starts, but the Jets would prefer to wait to pay a player who still has two years remaining on his current deal.
Although Adams is set to make $9.9 million in 2021, he’s going to make just $3.5 million in 2020 unless a new contract is agreed. Relative to his value and standing as one of the best safeties in football, Adams is objectively underpaid.
Despite multiple talks between the team and player since the draft, talks have reached an impasse. Adams has said he’s open to a trade if contract demands are not met, and more than half the teams in the NFL have reportedly reached out to New York to ask about the player.
Adams and the Jets already have a tumultuous relationship after the team entered trade talks with the Cowboys last season. Although Dallas found the asking price too high, Adams was angered by hearing his name come up in trade talks without being consulted.
Should Adams Be the Highest Paid Safety?
The biggest factor working against Adams in his pursuit of a new contract is his lack of league tenure. He’s just now eligible for a new contract since he completed his third season at the conclusion of the 2019 campaign, but not many in his position have received extensions.
In fact, only 16 of 223 first-round picks have received extensions after their third year since 2011. Christian McCaffrey, who was drafted two spots ahead of Adams in 2017, is the latest player to receive such an extension.
As a two-time Pro Bowler and First-Team All-Pro in 2019, Adams feels like he’s earned an extension now.
Rumors around the league say Adams wants to become the highest-paid safety in the league, which is the title currently held by Chicago’s Eddie Jackson at $14.6 million per year on average.
Is Adams worth that asking price?
While it can be difficult to estimate a defensive back’s value on stats, it’s undeniable that Adams is an elite talent at his position. His All-Pro honors are evidence of that much.
The issue for New York is that they’re not close to contending for a championship after a 7-9 season in 2019. So, while Adams is certainly worth north of $14 million per year, he may not be so to the Jets.
Jets Aiming To Move Up In AFC East
For one of the first times over the past two decades, the AFC East no longer feels like the exclusive property of the New England Patriots. With Tom Brady’s departure, the division appears to be up for grabs, and the Jets are aiming to move up from their third-place finish last season.
Yet the Patriots (12-4 in 2019) and Bills (10-6 in 2019) still stand in the way, and the Dolphins (5-11 in 2019) have Tua Tagovailoa and an arsenal of rookie draft picks aiming to power them forward.
So, can the Jets contend for a postseason position?
With an over/under win total set at 6.5, that prospect continues to look unlikely. An outright bet on the Jets to make the playoffs carries odds of +360, while a bet against a Jets postseason berth carries odds of -500.
To win the AFC East, New York’s +750 odds only place them slightly ahead of +900 Miami. Both teams trail well behind New England (+120) and Buffalo (+130).