Antonio Cromartie: New York Jets safety Jamal Adams deserves to be paid
After a busy offseason and a full week of free agency, the New York Jets accomplished a good chunk – not all – but a good chunk - of what they needed to do. Now, all that is left is the tiny detail of Jamal Adams future with the team.
Adams, the only Pro Bowl selection on the Jets roster, is entering the fourth year of his rookie contract. The Jets will inevitably pick-up his fifth and final year (2021) but now have the issue of how to handle his contract.
He absolutely deserves a new contract, one that likely will make him the top-paid safety in the NFL. Former Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who had two tenures with the Jets last decade, thinks that the safety is in line for a big payday.
“He should be deserves it,” the four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Cromartie told SportsIllustrated.com.
“Jamal Adams is the best safety in the league - why not be paid like one? He shows up every week.”
So far, free agency for the Jets might be a bit understated, lacking big names and big contracts. But the Jets appear to have addressed a number of issues along the offensive line as well as at defensive back. Both areas were concerning needs for the team in 2019.
On a 7-9 time a year ago, Adams was the unequivocal star. Nay, superstar.
And now with some help at cornerback - the Jets signed Pierre Desir in free agency - Adams should be able to improve on his numbers from a year ago. If the Jets were to draft a cornerback to add to their secondary, it might allow them to utilize Adams more as a pass-rushing weapon.
He tied for the lead on the Jets with 10 tackles for a loss last season as well as tying for the team-lead with 13 quarterback hits. He was also tied for second on the Jets in tackles (75) and was second in sacks (6.5) in 14 games. Not bad, for a safety.
The Jets seem interested in keeping Adams. At the NFL Combine, general manager Joe Douglas made it clear that the safety is a vital part of the team’s rebuild.
As part of his remarks at the Combine, Douglas said he hopes to sign Adams to a long-term deal that would make him a Jets player for life. It won’t come cheap, but as Cromartie mentioned, Adams is considered the best safety in the NFL.
As of now, estimates have the Jets at $25 million in salary cap space. That should give them some flexibility in getting Adams his new contract heading into this season.
Currently, the largest contract for a safety in the NFL is Washington’s Landon Collins at $84 million. He also leads all safeties with $44.5 million in guaranteed money for his contract.