The rocky relationship between the New York Jets and star safety Jamal Adams remains on wobbly, fraught ground as training camp approaches.
Adams requested a trade last month stemming from frustration over the lack of a new long-term deal. Things have spiraled from there.
Adams spoke to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, relaying that Jets GM Joe Douglas expressed a willingness to trade the safety under the right circumstances, but has yet to give Adams' side permission to seek out a potential swap.
The trade request isn't the Jets' biggest concern stemming from Adams' discussion with Mehta. No, it's the blowtorch that the Pro Bowl safety took to the team's brass.
Adams noted that one big reason he wants out is he doesn't trust coach Adam Gase as a leader.
"I don't feel like he's the right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land," Adams told Mehta. "As a leader, what really bothers me is that he doesn't have a relationship with everybody in the building.
"At the end of the day, he doesn't address the team," Adams added. "If there's a problem in the locker room, he lets another coach address the team. If we're playing s----- and we're losing, he doesn't address the entire team as a group at halftime. He'll walk out of the locker room and let another coach handle it."
Gase has said his relationship with Adams has been good since he arrived. Adams appears to reject that notion.
The 24-year-old also took issue with how Douglas handled his contract situation. After saying he'd look to extend Adams, the GM has deflected at every turn, according to the safety. Adams particularly took offense to the notion that the team's brass wanted to monitor him to see if he was all-in with the Jets.
For an All-Pro who has been a leader on and off the field, the idea that he had more to prove was offensive.
"It was very insulting," Adams said. "You know I bust my ass for that organization every day. I work my ass off. For them to say that to me, I was like 'OK ... Whoa! That was little bit too far.'"
Adams' 100 mph fireball toward Douglas kept going.
"Why would Joe come out and say, 'We want to make Jamal a Jet for life?'" Adams said. "Why would you say that and then not even give me an offer?... Don't B.S. me. I'm a straightforward guy. You don't have to B.S. me, because I'm going to keep it honest."
Gase and Douglas took the brunt of Adams' ire.
The safety said he won't skip training camp or the season despite his outstanding trade request.
"I'm showing up for my teammates," Adams told Mehta. "Obviously my love and passion for the game is very simple. You just turn on the tape and watch. No matter if we're winning or we're losing or we're getting blown out, I'm still the same guy. I won't change my tempo as far as how I play on the field. I'll never slow down. At the end of the day, I'm trying to be the greatest player to ever play the game at my position. Or at least one of them. That's my goal. I won't let anybody knock me off that goal."
With two years left on his contract, it's no surprise Adams won't hold out. He needs to continue to accrue seasons toward free agency if he ever wants to force his way from New York. Adams also has a roster bonus due on the fifth day of training camp, per Over The Cap -- being traded before that comes due seems the goal.
"I want to win," Adams said. "I want to be with an organization that wants to win and do things the right way."
Unfortunately for Adams, being under contract through 2021 doesn't help his case. The Jets' ability to use the franchise tag after that gives the star safety little leverage. His biggest influence is his ability to create uncomfortable situations for the organization, be a thorn in its side, which he's done by going on the record to flame the coach and GM.
Adams made it clear he's got no animosity toward the fan base. It's all about the team's brass -- and more so his contract desires.
"I love the Jets fan base," Adams said. "It's so strong. They're very passionate. And it goes along with my personality. If they don't like something, they speak about it. Just like I speak about it. I have nothing but love and respect for the Jets fans. They're some loyal fans as far as sticking with the team. Showing up to the games, wearing jerseys. I respect it. But when an organization starts to disrespect you like this, it's just time to move on. And it has nothing to do with the fans."
In the end, this is all about Adams' contract. If the Jets were to reverse course and hand him the contract he desires, these issues can be soothed. Until then, Adams can continue to throw kerosene on the fire until his wishes are granted.