FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jamal Adams is furious and standing his ground. He's "hurt" that the Jets "shopped" him, and doesn't care that they said that's not what they did. He won't commit to a long-term future in New York. He'll only say he's happy to be with the Jets "right now."
Adams admitted that he needs to "cool down" and there's always the chance that he will. He will talk to Jets GM Joe Douglas at some point, and maybe that will be enough. But right now, one day after the NFL trade deadline and his near-deal to the Dallas Cowboys, it's hard to imagine this relationship getting much better.
It's also hard to imagine Adams being on the field with the Jets on Opening Day next year.
"When my agent called me (Tuesday) and told me what was going on it definitely hurt me, you know what I mean?" Adams said Wednesday. "I hold myself at a high level. 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. That's the way I took it."
The Jets did take calls from several teams on Adams on Monday and Tuesday, a team source said, and they appeared to come fairly close to trading him to the Dallas Cowboys. Douglas admitted he was willing to listen to offers on just about everyone, including Adams and running back Le'Veon Bell, but he set the prices exorbitantly high and wasn't willing to budge. A source said that for Adams he wanted a first-round pick and at least one more first-round pick or multiple second-round picks in return.
He didn't get it, obviously, but Douglas would've been crazy not to listen to see if the Cowboys were willing to meet his crazy prize. The problem, though, was that Adams met with Douglas last week and supposedly was told that he wouldn't be "shopped" around to other teams. Douglas said he didn't shop him. Adams says that even by listening that's exactly what he did. That may be semantics, but it all has the same result: The emotional, high-strung Adams is extremely angry and feels betrayed. He also doesn't seem to care who knows it.
He ranted about Douglas on Twitter after the trading deadline passed on Tuesday. Then he spoke to the media on Wednesday and didn't hide his feelings at all.
He felt he should have been untouchable. He felt the Jets should've hung up on anyone who called to see if he was available. And he didn't seem to care that the only way the Jets were going to trade him was if the price was insanely high.
"For three years, I came here and I've done nothing but work my butt off, continue to improve, continue to be a great leader, continue to be a great teammate, and when you see something like that, you're in shock a little bit," Adams said. "At the end of the day it is a business. I understand it. But that's how I look at myself. I hold myself in a high regard.
"Obviously they don't feel that way."
So where does that leave Adams and the Jets? At the moment, very exposed, and teams around the NFL obviously can see that. Douglas said that teams started calling about Adams back in September when the 24-year-old took any reference to the Jets out of his Twitter and Instagram bio. If teams like the Cowboys sensed an opportunity then, imagine how they feel now.
Adams has to know the Jets will have plenty of opportunities to deal him this offseason. And he has to know that his hometown Cowboys will call again, especially after he confirmed that he told ESPN's Ryan Clark that Dallas "would definitely be the spot that I would love to be at." And given his emotional outburst and the fact that he's almost certainly going to be looking for a new contract next season, even though he still has two years (including the fifth-year option) left on his rookie contract. Given all that, the Jets might suddenly be more willing to make a deal.
Because they're not going to talk about a contract that might be worth close to $100 million -- with a player that, at the moment, doesn't seem to want to be in New York long-term -- they won't pay that to an emotional player who can't get past his current beef with his general manager. They may not pay it anyway, considering that as good as Adams is he's still only been part of 10 wins in his 2 ½ NFL seasons. But they certainly won't unless they're sure he's all-in with everything about the team. Right now, it doesn't appear that he is. Once he calms down, maybe that will change.
But he's hurt -- so much that right now he's refusing to talk to Douglas or Jets head coach Adam Gase about the situation, so much that he doesn't care who sees and knows how angry he is.
He's also frustrated that the Jets are 1-6, and given the state of their offensive line and injuries to some key players on defense, it might not get much better the rest of the season. If that frustration builds and Adams continues to seethe, it's a good bet that at some point everything will bubble over again.
And that would be too bad, because Adams is a really good player, the "heartbeat" of the team as Douglas called him on Tuesday, a fan favorite and the emotional leader this franchise so desperately needs. He's exactly the kind of player the Jets really should build around for the future.
But right now those emotions aren't helping his perilous situation. If he doesn't get them under control and fix all the burned bridges, he's going to be part of somebody else's future next year.