RENTON — The day before he became the newest member of the Seattle Seahawks, it was apparent to those around Jamal Adams that the All-Pro safety was stressed.
He had just spent the week criticizing the ownership of the New York Jets and taking shots at Jets general manager Joe Douglas and coach Adam Gase. Adams knew he was on the verge of being required to report for training camp but didn’t want his destination to be New York.
“I’ll never forget the day before I got traded,” Adams said via video conference. “I was really stressed, I went out with my family, and some of my loved ones and my brothers and they could see it on my face how stressed I was because I didn’t know where I was going to go.”
The stress was gone for Adams on Thursday when he spoke extensively for the first time since his trade from the Jets to the Seahawks over the weekend. It was a stunning deal on multiple levels — the amount of compensation the Seahawks sent to the Jets; the lack of a contract extension for Adams; and what the addition of Adams could mean for Seattle’s defense.
The contract situation and the way the Seahawks will use the 24-year-old standout will eventually get sorted out. What is already clear is the relief Adams felt landing with one of the teams at the top of his wish list.
“That’s what it’s about, just being around a lot of potential Hall of Famers, and a lot of great football players, but not only that, just great guys,” Adams said. “I mean, a great locker room, that brotherhood that they talk about over here. That’s what it’s about. So I knew Seattle was definitely the perfect spot for me. I just couldn’t come out and say it.”
Adams was drafted sixth overall by the Jets in 2017. He quickly established himself as a fan favorite and one of the best players at his position, being selected for the last two Pro Bowls and making the All-Pro squad last year.
But Adams’ relationship with the franchise began to take a turn in October when it became clear the Jets had listened to trade offers. Adams also wanted a contract extension, although the Jets weren’t interested with Adams still having two years left on his rookie deal.
Adams asked for a trade in June then used social media to criticize the team and capped things with a Daily News interview in which he said he didn’t feel Gase was “the right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land” and also said Douglas wasn’t being straight with him or his agents.
Adams received his wish when Seattle proved willing to part with two future first-round picks and safety Bradley McDougald in the trade. And Adams chose to try mending his relationships when asked about his recent comments.
“I’m at peace with it. We have to move on and it’s part of the business,” Adams said. “A lot of those guys and coaches reached out and they said they’re gonna miss me, and they love me and it’s the same back. I’m pulling for those guys over there. I really am. I have no hate in my heart toward anybody, to Joe to Adam Gase, it doesn’t matter. I really wish them well.”
For now, Adams is trying to get accustomed to new surroundings and teammates. He already has a strong relationship with Seattle free safety Quandre Diggs, who hosted Adams on his college recruiting visit to Texas. Adams also has gotten to know Bobby Wagner from their time at the Pro Bowl and sponsor events.
The addition of Adams should make the spine of Seattle’s defense from front to back with Diggs, Wagner and defensive tackles Jarran Reed and Poona Ford a strength to build around. Adams joked that playing together with Wagner is a “cheat code.”
“We talked about it a while back saying, ‘Why don’t we play together?’” Adams said. “Honestly, how I would describe us linking up and me finally being a part of Seattle is a cheat code.”