Adam Gase believed he had a good relationship with Jamal Adams before the unhappy All-Pro safety was traded to Seattle in July.
Thus, the Jets’ head coach admits he was “surprised” Adams took public shots at him even before the deal was finalized.
“I thought it was good, but obviously he felt different,” Gase said before practice Thursday in Florham Park. “I don’t know, I never had any poor interactions with him. I thought everything was…he was somebody I talked to a lot and communicated with.
“Once offseason hit, that’s kind of where there’s nothing I can do. I’m not in charge of contracts. I’m not involved in those talks. That’s kind of where his agent and the front office guys gotta go to work.”
Shortly before the trade was consummated – which netted the Jets first-round picks in 2021 and 2022, safety Bradley McDougald and a 2021 third-rounder – Adams said in a published report that Gase was not “the right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land.”
In a November interview with the “All Things Covered” podcast, he also called the Jets a “laughingstock” and claimed “they do not want to win,” while saying that playing for Seattle “is how the NFL is supposed to be” and “the dream I was dreaming.”
The two-time Pro Bowler has no interceptions but a career-high 7.5 sacks in eight games for the Seahawks (8-4), while the Jets are 0-12 entering Sunday’s game between the two teams in Seattle.
“That’s just one of those things where however it worked out, I guess that’s the business,” Gase said. “I thought he did a good job while he was here and he played hard and sold out and tried to do everything he could to help us win.
“At the end of the day, we couldn’t come to an agreement. He’s in Seattle, playing well for them. So that’s just kind of the NFL.”
Adams also said on the podcast that he “fought depression” during his three seasons with the Jets. The team posted a 16-32 record over that time with no playoff appearances.
“We had talked about it. I knew when we lost, how much it hurt him. I knew that,” Gase said. “He’s a competitor, man. He has no interest in coming off the wrong end of the stick in the wins/loss column. He feels like he sells out and gives everything he has. He wants to win. He wants to do everything he can to win.”
Gase, who isn’t expected to return next season to reap the draft benefits of the trade, added that he’s unsure if he will attempt to speak with Adams if they cross paths on the field before or after Sunday’s game.
“I think both sides got what they wanted,” Gase said. “At the end of the day, I think (the trade) will benefit both sides, too.”
Speaking earlier this week on The Uninterrupted’s “17 weeks” podcast on SiriusXM, Adams insisted he’s focused on winning the game and that he is “not going to get into the hype” of facing his former team.
“I’ll be there at the game, when they show up they strap their helmet up just like I strap my helmet up and we’re going to go to work. It’s simple as that, bro,” Adams said. “I’m about that business, bro. I’m at peace with all that, man.
“I have a lot of relationships over there, even on the staff and whatnot. I still keep in contact with the ones that have been there for me and the ones that always had my back.”