Not too long ago, Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams were two key elements of the Jets' future. Now, there's a chance New York could enter the 2021 season with neither on their roster.
Adams departed last offseason, heading to the Seahawks via trade after forcing his way out. Even from the perspective of a competitor, the defensive back still has faith in his former teammate.
"Absolutely he can play,” Adams said this week on CBS Sports Radio’s “Tiki & Tierney” show. “Right now, he’s lost a lot of confidence. You get all this speculation [about] a new quarterback. [People] want Trevor [Lawrence], they want Deshaun [Watson], those things are definitely getting to him. And I know it is because he’s human at the end of the day.”
Adams had his own experience battling mental health issues while playing for the Jets. He opened up about the depression he had during his tenure in New York a few months ago, explaining that it played a huge role in his growing desire to play elsewhere.
Darnold, 23, has had high expectations to perform ever since he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Since then, he's struggled to develop at the next level. In 2020, his third season with the Jets, the signal-caller regressed across the board, finishing the campaign with the worst QBR (40.2) and passer rating (72.7) among qualifying quarterbacks.
Jets' head coach Robert Saleh, general manager Joe Douglas and the entire organization has a big decision to make this offseason. Should they stick with Darnold and build around him going forward, take a chance with a rookie quarterback in the draft or try to trade for a new quarterback (like Deshaun Watson).
No matter what uniform Darnold is wearing in 2021, Adams believes the former first-rounder will be just fine. Similar to what Darnold said at the end of the regular season, the quarterback's best days are still ahead.
“Wherever he lands, he’s going to be fine,” Adams said. “I’m pulling for Sammy. I shot him a text the other day. He’s going to be fine, man. He’s going to get his confidence back, and he’s going to start ripping again.”
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