Jamal Adams Opens Up About Fighting Depression While Playing For Jets

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Jamal Adams' three-year stint with the New York Jets included a battle with depression.

The safety, now with the Seahawks after being traded to Seattle in July, opened up about how much of a toll playing for the Jets took on his mental health.

On the 'All Things Covered' podcast, the 25-year-old flashed back to how he felt in the Jets' locker room on the final day of the 2019 season. New York had finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs once again, but after a season-ending victory against the Bills, Adams found himself surrounded by happy teammates. 

"Can I stand this again?" he asked himself. "Because bro, I fought depression in New York. There's been so many times to where I've come home after a loss, a tough loss, and just sat in my room in the dark. No phone, no TV and [my dad] would walk in and be like, 'hey man, you alright?' He hated to see me like that."

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The Jets selected Adams sixth overall in 2017 and over his next three years in green and white, New York went a combined 16-32. All the while Adams was one of the best safeties in football, wanting to get the respect he felt he deserved. 

Part of that included a contract extension worthy of his play, something he never received. That led to tension between the player and front office, paving the way to the eventual trade this past offseason. 

"If you guys feel I'm the face of the franchise, if you feel you want to make me a Jet for life, pay me and let's start this thing right," Adams said. "Because you didn't pay anybody else."

Money aside, Adams said that not winning in New York had such an impact on him that it took a toll on his life outside of football. It was something that eventually concerned his parents to a degree where even they took action.

"It killed my pops so much come to find out that he was calling my agent at the time and saying 'hey man, I don't like seeing my son like this. I need him out of this situation,'" Adams recalled. "So, it got so bad to where it took a toll on my life outside of football, to where I had to make a move. I had to get out of there because I knew what I wanted and I wanted to win. ... They do not want to win."

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He added that once he heard from his mom that she didn't want him in a Jets uniform anymore, he knew it was time to get out of his current situation.

"I love New York. I love the fans," he said. "But I couldn't fight it, it was so negative and I couldn't do it anymore. It was taking a toll on my life. It was taking a toll on my family and the relationships I had. It was killing me."

In return for Adams, the Jets received a package including two first-round picks. Without Adams, New York has started this season 0-9.

Although this year hasn't been perfect for Adams in Seattle—as he's already missed time due to injury and the Seahawks have lost three of their last four games—he's in prime position not just to make the first postseason appearance of his career, but compete for a chance at winning a Super Bowl.

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