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Inside the Jamal Adams trade: From ‘Jet for life’ to goner in five months – New York Jets Blog

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The phone call from the Seattle Seahawks came several weeks ago. Joe Douglas wasn’t surprised. Everybody in the NFL knew star safety Jamal Adams wanted out, so the New York Jets‘ general manager figured he would receive multiple inquiries. And he did, but the Seahawks were the most aggressive suitor.

The two teams maintained a steady flow of communication. It didn’t take long for the Seahawks to sweeten their initial offer, adding their 2022 first-round pick to the proposed package. Two first-round picks. That piqued Douglas’ interest, but he didn’t jump at the deal. He waited. And waited, still hoping — perhaps naively — the team would reach a truce with the disgruntled Adams.

Know this: Douglas did not want to trade the best player on his team. In April, he said in a radio interview that Adams was a “big reason” he accepted the GM job a year ago. He saw Adams as an elite defensive talent, a foundational player.

So how did Douglas go from “love at first sight” to splitsville in 13 months?

Opportunity.

As much as he wanted to retain Adams, Douglas pivoted about a week ago when he concluded the Seahawks’ offer “was one we could not ignore.” The framework was in place before Friday, when Adams unloaded on Douglas and coach Adam Gase in the New York Daily News. The last obstacle — the biggest obstacle — was an agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association on a salary-cap plan to combat the revenue shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That was a concern for the Seahawks, who likely will give Adams a huge contract extension.

The matter was resolved late Friday, clearing the way for one of the biggest trades in Jets history. The scope of the deal raised eyebrows around the league. Believe it or not, it’s actually similar to that of the Khalil Mack blockbuster from 2018 — and Mack is a premier edge rusher. A safety isn’t supposed to fetch as much as a pass-rusher, but consider:

The Jets received 2021 and 2022 first-round picks, a 2021 third-round pick and safety Bradley McDougald. The Jets sent a 2022 fourth-round pick to Seattle with Adams.

At the end of the 2018 preseason, the Las Vegas Raiders recouped a ransom for Mack — 2019 and 2020 first-round picks, a 2020 third-rounder and a 2019 sixth-rounder. They had to send second- and fifth-round picks to the Chicago Bears, so you could make the argument the Jets got more for Adams than the Raiders got for Mack.

“They received a very strong offer,” one AFC personnel executive said of the Jets. “It’ll be tough to replace the talent [Adams], but they couldn’t ignore the building blocks for the future.”

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Louis Riddick explains why Jamal Adams might be worth the first-round picks the Seahawks used to acquire him.

That’s why Douglas made the deal — the future. In 2021, the Jets have 10 draft picks, including five in the first three rounds. With four first-round picks over the next two drafts, Douglas has enough flexibility to replenish a talent-starved roster. He also has quarterback insurance. If Sam Darnold doesn’t pan out — the fan base just cringed — he could have the ammunition to trade up for a successor.

Additionally, there’s a huge economic component in play. After projecting what Adams might receive on a long-term extension, Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap noted, “The Jets will save about $47 million in cap space for one year of McDougald and 12 combined years of draft selections versus six years of Adams and four years of a fourth-round pick.”

Translation: Douglas had to do the trade for the long-term health of the franchise.

Some fans might be skeptical, and that’s understandable because they have heard this rap before. Douglas’ predecessors have traded away top talent over the years (Darrelle Revis, anyone?), each time selling the idea of a brighter tomorrow.

Thing is, those happy tomorrows never happened because the GMs who made those trades stunk at drafting, a big reason why the Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010. We don’t know about Douglas yet because his first draft class still hasn’t been on the field. If he’s not any better than his predecessors at picking players, the Adams trade will be remembered as one of those “Same ol’ Jets” moves.

Adams is a known player, but the Jets refused to extend him with two years remaining on his rookie contract. Douglas, who hasn’t talked to the media since late April, has yet to address that issue. If you love him so much, why not pay him? When it became clear to Adams in late spring that a new deal wasn’t happening, he began criticizing the organization on social media.

Then came the June 18 trade request, which didn’t surprise Douglas. He expected it. The game plan didn’t change — he still hoped to find a happy place with Adams — but what the trade request did was signal to the rest of the league that something was rotten in New Jersey. Calls started coming in. Teams smelled an opportunity, wanting to know what it would take to pry the All-Pro safety away from the Jets.

Douglas played it beautifully, showing patience as Adams’ social media outbursts continued and training camp, set to start July 28, drew closer. Eventually, Douglas pulled the trigger on a trade that once didn’t seem possible.

When he was drafted in 2017, Adams was billed as a culture-changer, an alpha personality who would lead the Jets out of the darkness. Then-coach Todd Bowles said, “The culture we’re trying to create, I think he’s perfect for our building.” (Would this be a bad time to remind folks the Jets passed on quarterback Patrick Mahomes to take Adams?)

As it turned out, Adams couldn’t handle the losing.

Despite his stellar play, the Jets went 16-32 and Adams became embittered. He lashed out at teammates at halftime during an ugly loss last season to the Jacksonville Jaguars, sources said. He whined at the trade deadline because his name was floated in talks. That was the turning point; that’s when Adams appeared to lose faith in the front office. It got to a point where he openly said he was “trying to” get traded to Dallas to play for his hometown Cowboys. Only a market-setting contract extension could have salvaged the marriage, and the Jets didn’t want to go there, not this year.

Adams wanted out so badly that he will play for the Seahawks under his current contract — happily. On Saturday night, he celebrated the trade with a cigar on Instagram Live, behaving in front of his followers like a man who had been freed from a bad relationship.

Only five months ago, Douglas proclaimed his plan was to make Adams a “Jet for life.” Life changes quickly around this team.



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Carroll Hardy, who hit for Ted Williams and built Broncos’ ‘Orange Crush’ dies at 87

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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Carroll Hardy, a multi-sport star best known as the only man ever to pinch hit for Ted Williams, died Sunday at age 87.

Hardy was also known as the football executive who helped assemble the “Orange Crush” defense in Denver during the 1970s.

The University of Colorado, where Hardy was a three-sport star, said he died of complications from dementia. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Hardy went on to play professional baseball and football after starring in track, baseball and football at Colorado from 1951-55.

CU athletic director Rick George called Hardy “a true icon of the state. His list of accomplishments in his lifetime and the people he touched are really second to none. We have lost a great Buffalo.”

Hardy earned a record 10 letters altogether in the early 1950s. An All-American honorable mention in 1953 and ’54, Hardy rushed for 1,999 career yards with a whopping 6.87-yard average per carry, which remains the best in school history among players with at least 60 carries.

Hardy led the nation in kickoff return average in 1952 and had six interceptions for the Buffaloes.

On the diamond, Hardy was CU’s all-time career batting average leader (.392) with 118 hits in 301 at-bats with 15 homers, 80 RBI, 107 runs scored and 45 stolen bases.

He once ran a 9.8 in the 100-yard dash on the indoor track.

Hardy was the 33rd overall pick in the 1955 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. and averaged 28.2 yards a catch as a rookie with 12 receptions for 338 yards and four touchdowns.

Before reporting to the 49ers camp, Hardy signed with the Cleveland Indians and played on their A-league team in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1956, he was hitting .365 in 21 games with the Indians’ Triple-A team in Indianapolis when he was ordered to report to the U.S. Army.

He returned to the Indians after his two-year tour of military duty and his major league career spanned a decade from 1958-67 with stops in Cleveland, Boston, Houston and Minnesota.

Hardy was the only man ever to pinch hit for Red Sox icons Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.

“I’d like to have people remember me for hitting 400 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .305, but I didn’t do that,” Hardy once told the Denver Post. “But it’s not bad being remembered as the only man to ever pinch-hit for Ted Williams.”

Hardy’s first major league homer was a three-run shot in the bottom of the 11th to beat the White Sox when he was sent to the plate in place of Roger Maris in 1958 when both were with the Indians.

Boston traded Hardy to the expansion Colt 45’s in 1963 and he later joined the Twins, who sent him to their affiliate in Denver.

During his two-plus seasons with the Denver Bears, he began scouting part-time for the Denver Broncos in the offseason.

That led to a 24-year stint with the Broncos in various roles including assistant ticket manager, director of scouting, pro personnel director and assistant general manager.

He finished his major league career with a September call-up with the Twins in 1967, then turned his attention full-time to football.

Hardy was credited with helping to build Denver’s “Orange Crush” defense that led to the Broncos’ first Super Bowl appearance in 1977. That dominant defense included Randy Gradishar, Tom Jackson, Louis Wright, Lyle Alzado, Otis Armstrong and Barney Chavous.

Hardy also helped assemble the Broncos’ 1986 and ’87 Super Bowl teams before his retirement.

Hardy was born in 1933 in Sturgis, South Dakota. He is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Janice Mitchell, son Jay and daughters Jill and Lisa.

With the coronavirus pandemic, funeral services will be for family only, but a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

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Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jatavis Brown retires at 26

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PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Jatavis Brown, a 26-year-old free-agent pickup this offseason, has surprisingly retired from the game.

The Eagles placed Brown on the reserve/retired list Sunday. The word internally was he simply felt it was time for him to step away.

Brown signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia in March that would pay him a base salary of $910,000 and included $550,000 in guarantees. He was in the mix to compete for a starting spot and was at a minimum expected to be a special-teams contributor.

The Eagles already had the least amount of salary-cap dollars committed to the linebacker position for 2020 ($5.9 million), according to Spotrac. The Eagles get about $900,000 in cap relief as a result of Brown retiring.

The remaining linebackers are T.J. Edwards, Nate Gerry, Davion Taylor, Duke Riley, Alex Singleton, Shaun Bradley and Dante Olson, one of the most unheralded groups in the NFL.

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Lions trade CB Michael Jackson to Patriots for 2022 draft pick

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The Detroit Lions traded cornerback Michael Jackson to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed 2022 draft pick on Sunday, hours after announcing plans to release the veteran.

Jackson played in one game for Detroit last season, a 19-16 loss at Washington, where he played two special teams snaps. Detroit had claimed him off waivers in September, 2019, after he was cut by Dallas. Trading Jackson clears up part of one of the deepest positions the Lions have on the roster with a handful of cornerbacks still competing for backup jobs behind likely starters Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah and Justin Coleman.

This is the sixth trade, not including in-draft moves, between the Lions and Patriots since Bob Quinn took over as general manager in January, 2016.

The Patriots have multiple openings on their roster after an NFL-high eight players opted out of the 2020 season. Jackson provides depth at cornerback, which is one of the deepest positions on the team’s roster, with reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore, followed by Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Joejuan Williams, D’Angelo Ross and Myles Bryant.

The Patriots could have waited and put in a waiver claim for Jackson, but since they are lower in the NFL’s priority order, they wouldn’t have been guaranteed they’d get him. So similar to how they traded for McCourty in 2018, when the Cleveland Browns had declared their intentions to release McCourty, the Patriots swooped in at the last moment with a trade.

The Lions also waived wide receivers Travis Fulgham and Chris Lacy, linebacker Christian Sam, defensive end Jonathan Wynn and guard Josh Garnett, a former San Francisco 49ers first-round pick on Sunday.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss contributed to this report.

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