RENTON, Wash. — The first eight games of All-Pro strong safety Jamal Adams‘ tenure with the Seattle Seahawks have made it clear he isn’t “bored” with his new team. He says he isn’t bitter about his old one, either.
Speaking with reporters via Zoom on Friday, two days before the Seahawks (8-4) host the winless New York Jets at Lumen Field, Adams was complimentary of the organization that traded him to Seattle in July amid a messy divorce that included his public criticism of head coach Adam Gase.
Adams described his relationship with his former head coach as “solid” and said he’d shake his hand if Gase approaches him pregame Sunday.
“I don’t hate Adam Gase,” he said. “I have no problem with Adam Gase. I just feel he didn’t handle certain situations well as a head coach. That’s just my opinion. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, just like you guys are. Everybody’s entitled to an opinion, and that’s the world we live in. But like I said, I have no hate towards Adam.”
Adams said several times Friday that he respects the Jets and his former teammates, mentioning quarterback Sam Darnold, among others, by name.
Adams was unhappy about the lack of movement toward a new contract when the Jets sent him to Seattle for a package of picks that includes the Seahawks’ first-rounders in each of the next two drafts. The Seahawks are expected to begin negotiations toward an extension to Adams’ rookie deal this offseason.
“The guys that make the decisions over there, they just didn’t value me like Seattle does and I appreciate that,” he said. “There’s no hard feelings towards them. They had different views. I had a different view, but at the end of the day, I’m just happy to be where I am and I have an organization that believes in me, believes I can get it done and thinks highly of me. That’s all I can ask for, man. It’s just all about respect for me.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll spoke with Adams and right tackle Brandon Shell this week about Sunday’s game, as he often does when one of his players is about to face his former team. Carroll said both “are in a good place” and “really levelheaded about it.” Shell, who signed with Seattle in March and was having a strong season until he suffered a high ankle sprain, is expected to play after missing the past two games.
Adams said he’d be lying if he claimed he wasn’t excited to play his former team but that he doesn’t want to make the game about himself.
“I’m not trying to hype myself up,” he said. “I’m not trying to go out there and prove that I can make this play and make that play. I was with them for three years. They’ve seen me, they’ve seen what I can do. I have a lot of respect for a lot of the guys over there. They’re going to be talking noise. I’m going to be talking noise. It’s going to be a fun battle. I know their record might not show it all the time, but that’s a ballclub that never stops fighting.”
Former Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, fired on Monday, memorably wondered aloud after the Adams trade if the safety might get “bored” playing in a Seahawks defense that’s not as complex as his own. But the Seahawks have been blitzing Adams enough to put him on the doorstep of NFL history. He acknowledged that it would be “sweet” to break the record for most sacks in a single season by a defensive back Sunday.
Adrian Wilson holds the record with 8.0 in 2005, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Adams has 7.5 despite missing four games with a groin injury. He’s also still not fully recovered from the shoulder injury that was in recent weeks forcing him to, in his words, play with one arm.
While Adams was at times conciliatory toward the Jets on Friday, he said he had no regrets about how his exit from the team played out.
“At the end of the day, I did what’s best for my family and myself and my career,” he said. “I took a chance on myself at 24 years old. Many people didn’t think that a 24-year-old would get out of his situation. They thought I was crazy. They thought I was a baby. They thought everything, but I stuck to it. I knew who I was as a person, I know my worth, and like I said, I have nothing but respect to the Jets organization. I pray one day that they do figure it out and they do get the ball rolling because the fans deserve it up there. All of the Jet fans deserve a positive season, a chance at the playoffs, a chance at the run.
“They deserve that because they’re so passionate, they’re so loyal to the Jets. Like I said, nothing but respect and love. I’ll always understand where I came from, who drafted me, because that plays a part in the journey. Like I always say, the marathon continues.”