Despite trading their best player and only Pro Bowl selection last year, the New York Jets are convinced that they are a better and improving team in 2020.
In speaking to the media via a conference call on Monday afternoon, New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas aggressively went after the idea that his 7-9 team a year ago is tanking in light of this past weekend’s Jamal Adams trade. Instead, Douglas was actively proselytizing the idea that trading his All-Pro safety was not counter to the idea that the roster could take a step forward in 2020.
“I think when you guys see this team practice and get around this team, you are going to see a team that is very hungry and has a lot of desire to prove that 6-2 finish was not a fluke against a ‘soft schedule.’ You’re going to see a team with a lot of fire and a lot of motivation,” Douglas said on Monday’s call.
“I will disagree that we’re punting on 2020.”
The trade of Adams and a fourth round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft netted the Jets a starting safety in Bradley McDougald, a first round pick in 2021, a third round pick in 2022 and a first round pick in 2022. For a rebuilding team without a playoff appearance since 2010, it looks like a good foundational move for the organization.
The move still stings, however. Adams was a star and the team’s best player, a true weapon on defense and one who gravitated to the spotlight off the field. Both sides to his personality were assets in a market that loves its star players.
A month ago, Adams publicly demanded a trade after claiming that a promised contract offer from the Jets had never been realized. Adams then took to lashing out at the organization repeatedly (including head coach Adam Gase) until he was traded this past weekend.
There are concerns that the Jets dumping their star, even for a hefty haul of draft picks, might set a bad precedent when dealing with other players and contracts moving forward.
Douglas said that he was always willing to look internally and evaluate things including how he handled this situation.
“In terms of things I can do better, look, I’m in year two of being a GM in the National Football League and I’m always going to look at things I can do better on a daily basis and then on a macro level throughout the year. Those are discussions I have with Adam, I have with Rex [Hogan], I have with people around the building,” Douglas said.
“We don’t have the hubris to think that we have all the answers. I’m going to constantly improve on things I feel I need to work on.”