FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Jamal Adams has never held back his opinion before, so he won't when he talks to GM Mike Maccagnan about the Jets' future. And Maccagnan better listen, because Adams is exactly right.
This Jets team doesn't have nearly enough good players on their roster. And with $100 million in salary cap space to spend, they better find some great ones if they really want this team to compete.
"You've got to go get players, man," Adams said in the locker room after the Jets ended their season with a terrible 38-3 loss to the New England Patriots. "You've got to go get big-time players. You've got to go get names. It's simple. You look at the top teams. You look at the Saints, you look at the Rams, you look at the Chicago Bears, you look at all these teams … Come on, man. You've got to get players."
The Jets just don't have enough of what Adams called "dogs". That has been obvious all season when looking at their roster. With the exception of Adams, they don't have a star; they don't have any game-changing players; and they don't have any one that teams have to game-plan around on either side of the ball.
Or, as one NFL executive said to SNY last week: "What guy on their team scares you? Offense or defense, who's the one guy that the opposing coordinator has to worry about and game plan against? There really isn't a guy."
The 23-year-old Adams can see that when he looks around the Jets locker room. It's why he insisted all season that what was happening with the Jets wasn't Todd Bowles' fault. He knew his coach wasn't playing will a fully stacked deck.
"It's nothing against the players that are here," Adams said. "Great teammates of mine. Great brothers. And we have talent. But we're not all the way there in certain spots. You can't beat around the bush, man. That's why we've been losing. We've been beating around the bush. You can't beat around the bush. You've got to be real with yourself."
Here's the reality check: The Jets have no offensive weapons and nobody who can rush the passer. That's why they have to make a run at Le'Veon Bell, the superstar free-agent-to-be running back. And then they need to sign a defensive monster like DeMarcus Lawrence or Jadeveon Clowney or Dante Fowler, depending on who is actually available. They have to take advantage of their high draft pick and pick a star, too. Don't be shy and don't be cheap, either.
They have a team filled with depth players and role players. They don't need any more of those.
Adams plans to do his part, too. He said he will be an active recruiter. And yes, "Bell's one (that he wants), obviously, but there's so many guys."
He just needs Maccagnan to do his part -- to spend or even overspend if necessary -- whatever it takes to convince the available stars that the New York Jets are the place to be. And he's going to be outspoken about it because he's passionate and smart and realizes that he's about to enter his third NFL season.
He knows the Jets don't have forever to get this thing right.
"I'm just trying to maximize an opportunity," Adams said. "Because this game runs out of time. It doesn't wait for anybody. I understand that."
Maccagnan and the Jets need to understand that too. The rebuilding has gone on seemingly forever. They've found their franchise quarterback, and that's the toughest piece to find. Now they have to surround Sam Darnold and Adams with the players they deserve. They do need bigger names, bigger players and bigger "dogs".
Otherwise, they're never going to play in bigger games.
"We ended the season 4-12. It's my standard. It shouldn't be the Jets standard," Adams said. "It has to change. You got to bring players in here, man. It's as simple as that. It's not rocket science.
"I'm not going to sit here and say we have talent. We have a lot of talent on the team, but we don't have a lot of dogs on the team. We just don't."
Now it's up to Maccagnan to find them, and you're "damn right" that Adams is going to tell him that. This might be the biggest, most important offseason in Jets history, and they need to treat it that way.
They need to be the big dogs in free agency, so all the big dogs will want to come play for them.