Dan Leberfeld's Blog

Joe Douglas’ support of Adam Gase – Impressed with what he saw 08.05.20

Recently, after a couple of attacks on the head coach in the Daily News by former Jets safety Jamal Adams and his camp, Jets GM Joe Douglas came to the defense of Adam Gase. The first hit-piece was a source saying Gase was the reason Adams wanted to be traded, and then a month later, Adams himself went after the coach.

After these two stories, Douglas took it upon himself to defend Gase.

“I especially believe in Coach Gase,” Douglas said in the opening statement of a recent press conference. “I feel he is the right coach to lead this team. Having watched him work last year. Having seen his staff overcome a 1-7 start and finish the way they did, I feel really good about where we are with him and his leadership.”

The Daily News writer, who penned the two pieces, later in the presser, circled back to the opening statement.

“Joe, you alluded to it in your opening statement, yet Jamal was explicit in saying that he didn’t think Adam was the right leader to take this team to the Super Bowl,” asked Manish Mehta, “and you have described Jamal as a leader, and Adam himself has described Jamal as an elite player, so specifically about Adam that you see leads you to believe that he does have requisite leadership skills to take you guys to a title.”

Douglas doubled-down in his support of Gase.

“In terms of of Jamal and Adam question, I have seen Adam this year go through a 1-7 start, he was a coach who never lost patience who never waivered from his beliefs, a guy who would get up and have the tough conversation with players, and have great communication with the team in team meetings,” Douglas said. “Everything I have witnessed in my year with Adam, I have been impressed by.”

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Another bizarre contract decision 08.04.20

He was a good player for the Jets, and contributed to the team when healthy, but the timing of his lucrative contract extension was odd,

Talking about wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who was released on Monday.

On December 28, 2018, the Jets gave Enunwa, who was sidelined at the time with a serious ankle injury, a new four-year deal for $36 million, with $20 million guaranteed. The next day, they put him on season-ending injured reserve. Who writes big checks to players you are about to put on IR? And the fact that he landed on IR two years in a row in 2017-18, perhaps you need to go with one-year deals due to the injury risk.

Granted guys usually come back from high ankle sprains, but why not wait to you see that he’s back to 100 percent, before you pull the trigger on a new deal?

Kind of like when Mo Wilkerson got a massive contract in 2016 before he was 100 recovered from a broken right fibula. He got $53 million guaranteed, and clearly the leg was still an issue during the next season.

Granted, it was a neck injury that ended Enunwa’s career, but what was the rush to give him massive money, after two years in a row that ended with serious injuries? Remember, Enunwa had a season-ending neck surgery in 2017 (the same issue that ended his career).

Hey, good for Enunwa, who is set for life, and he was smart to take the money at the end of the 2018 season. Perhaps he also wondered what the heck they were doing giving him $20 million guaranteed as he hobbled around the building at the time.

But this sort of reckless spending needs to be in rearview mirror in Florham Park, and you get the sense it is with Joe Douglas in town.

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By doing nothing, Douglas helped Jets 08.04.20

Many people were wondering why the New York Jets didn’t just move on from linebacker Avery Williamson this off-season.

After all, he was coming off a torn ACL, had a big cap number in 2020, they have good depth at ILB, and C.J. Mosley was returning after missing most of last year with a sports hernia.

Well, as you know by now, Mosley decided not to play this season, so Jets GM Joe Douglas’ decision to wait on the Williamson decision turned out to be a prudent move.

The Jets had the cap space to keep Williamson around this off-season and summer, did just that, and now that patience is paying off.

Williamson is a smart, instinctive player with good character. He’s a top-shelf run defender and good blitzer.

And by all accounts, he should be ready to roll once the season starts, as he finishes up his rehab from a knee injury that happened last August. ACL tears usually take about nine months to heal.

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Was excessive contract 08.03.20

It’s probably not good business to give players at this position that kind of money.

On March 15, 2019, the Jets signed free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley to a five-year deal for $85 million with $51 million guaranteed.

Who pays inside linebackers that kind of money? That is what’s called “profligate spending.”

Not only was the contract over the top, but in the first two years of the deal, the Jets will end up getting one full game out of the player. He suffered a sports hernia last year, and ended up playing just one game and change, and now he’s decided to opt out this season. He collected a $10 million bonus early this year.

Look, you can’t blame Mosley for taking such a bizarre offer. What’s he supposed to do, turn it down? It was far above what any other team was offering. Perhaps he would have preferred to stay with Baltimore where he played his first five years and is an iconic sports figure in the city, but the Jets’ offer was much more lucrative, so he jumped on it.

You could say this imprudent contract is a teachable moment for the Jets, but that would be unfair.

Because the team’s current GM, Joe Douglas, knows not to spend like a drunken sailor in free agency, especially at certain positions. He didn’t need this teachable moment. He displayed his contract acumen this off-season, not caving to to pricey demands of players like Robby Anderson, Jamal Adams and some street free agents.

But to pay an inside linebacker $85 million for five years with $51 million guaranteed, is just not ideal, especially in a salary cap sport.

Not saying Mosley isn’t a good player. He is. However, most teams know they can find solid players at ILB without breaking the bank.

If you notice, most of the top linebacker contracts in the NFL were given to outside linebackers, who are elite pass rushers, not inside linebackers.

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‘Go out there and be the best me’ 07.31.20

When safety Bradley McDougald first got the call from Seattle GM John Schneider last weekend that he was traded, it kind of threw him for a loop.

“At first, I felt kind of struck, I felt kind of abandoned, like they kicked me out, like they didn’t care about me or value me there,” said McDougald.

Then when it started to sink in more, he started to dig the idea of playing for the New York Jets, the team that acquired him for safety Jamal Adams and three draft picks.

“Then I started to think about how much of a blessing this was, another opportunity,” McDougald said. “It’s actually a better space for me to be in. I can come into a program that wanted me to be there. They did their homework on me and traded for me. So I started to think about all the positives.”

Obviously trades are part of the business in pro sports.

“I’m not the first guy to ever get traded, and I’m not the last guy to ever get traded to a team,” McDougald said. “I had no time to feel sorry for myself or focus on anything negative, other than coming into a new program, earn my respect from the players and the coaches, and go out there and be the best me in New York.”

As a player who entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, he always values opportunities to play, no matter where.

“For me personally, this is just another opportunity,” McDougald said. “As an undrafted kid, that is all you ever wanted was an opportunity to go out there, an opportunity to play, and prove yourself, and this is no different.

“You have one job to do to go out there and perform. Your value doesn’t change because of the uniform you put on.”

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‘How do you reconcile trade?’ 07.30.20

During Adam Gase’s conference call with reporters early this week, the coach was asked why the Jets couldn’t keep a player of Jamal Adams’ caliber happy.

“You called Jamal an incredible player – how do you reconcile trading a player of that talent, who is only 24 years old, arguably the best player on your team,” asked ESPN’s Rich Cimini, who also works for the Jets’ media partner, SNY. “What does it say about the organization that it wasn’t able to keep a player of that caliber happy?

What does it say about an organization that they wouldn’t pay a player after three years of his deal, when he was locked up for two more?

Perhaps it says they are smart.

“Since the current CBA for rookies payment came in 2011, there have only been three defensive players that have received extensions this early – Luke Kuechly, J.J. Watt and most recently Miles Garrett,” said Jets GM Joe Douglas.

Defensive end Joey Bosa just signed an extension with the Los Angeles Chargers. He played four years on his rookie deal before getting this new contract, which is very common with first-round picks.

So what are the Jets supposed to do, just give in to guys when they make demands to make them happy? What kind of way is that to run a business?

The Jets traded Adams to Seattle for two-first round picks, a third-round pick and a starting safety Bradley McDougald.

Was it more important to make Adams happy, which might not have ever happened, since according to his social media accounts, and media surrogate, he was unhappy with many things beyond his contract, or go ahead and trade him for a king’s ransom?

You can make a strong argument that the latter was the way to go.

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Is the sky falling on the Jets because they traded a safety? 07.29.20

Been hearing the same thing over and over the last five days.

The Jets traded their best player.

One person asked the GM if he is “punting on the season” by trading Jamal Adams.

This idea that the sky is falling on the Jets because they traded a safety, who does his best work in the box, is ridiculous.

“The guy had seven passes defended last year and one interception; he’s a dominant run player – make no mistake about it. He doesn’t cover anybody,” said VISN’s Mike Lombardi on July 24, the day Adams trashed Joe Douglas and Adam Gase in the Daily News.

I wouldn’t say “he doesn’t cover anybody.” That was clearly hyperbole for emphasis, but the bottom line is he’s not an elite coverage safety. He’s serviceable in coverage, but his strength is playing the run and blitzing, two things he’s very good at.

So for Jets GM Joe Douglas to get two first-round picks, a third-round pick and starting safety (Bradley McDougald) for safety who excels in the box, and is just okay in coverage, is quite a haul.

So this best player thing is so misleading. They didn’t trade a franchise QB, dominant pass rusher or shutdown corner.

Maybe Adams was their best player. Maybe a healthy C.J. Mosley is. Maybe Le’Veon Bell is with a better line. Maybe a new candidate emerges this year. We can debate that.

But the point is, if you can’t overcome the loss of a safety, who does his best work in the box, what kind of football team do you really have?

So let’s chill out with this “they traded their best player narrative” like it means they are doomed.

In the NFL, is a safety really going to lead you to the promised land?

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Manish vs. Joe D Part II – Writer contends Jets GM more concerned with future than present 07.28.20

Manish Mehta had several pointed queries for Jets GM Joe Douglas at his presser. Here are the last two questions with the answers:

Manish Mehta – New York Daily News: Joe, a couple of things, one is people can perceive this as you punting on this season, being that you traded your best player a few days before camp started. In that vain, why isn’t the present as important as the future? You obviously have set yourself up potentially for a lot good things in the future, but why don’t you view 2020 in that same light?

Secondly, are there any things you wish you could have done differently. You have made it clear you have been pretty straight-forward throughout this process, but obviously it devolved to a point that neither side wanted, so anything differently you wish you had done -any regrets?

Douglas: Firstly, I would disagree with that assessment. I think when you 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 a 6-2 finish wasn’t a fluke, against a “soft-schedule.” I think you are going to see a team with a lot of fire and a lot of motivation. I would disagree that we are punting on 2020.

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 an on a macro level through the year. Those are discussion I will have with Adam (Gase), Rex (Hogan) and people around the building. We don’t have the hubris to think we have all the answers. I am constantly going to work on things I feel I need to improve on.

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Manish vs. Joe Part I – Why don’t you agree with Jamal? 07.28.20

Jets nemesis Manish Mehta had several pointed queries for Jets GM Joe Douglas on Monday. Here is the first couple of questions and Douglas’ answers:

Manish Mehta –  Daily News: Joe, you alluded to (Adam Gase’s leadership) in your opening statement, yet Jamal was explicit in saying that he didn’t think Adam was the right leader to take this team to the Super Bowl, and you have described Jamal as a leader, and Adam himself has described Jamal as an elite player, so what about Adam that you see, leads you to believe that he does have requisite leadership skills to take you guys to a title?

And secondly, on a totally unrelated note to Jamal, why did you guys talk to (guard) Kyle Long about possibly coming out of retirement this off-season?

Douglas: In terms of the Jamal and Adam question, I have seen Adam [last season] go through a 1-7 start; he was a coach who never lost patience, who never waivered from his beliefs, a guy who would get up and have the tough conversation with players, and have great communication with the team in team meetings. Everything I have witnessed in my year with Adam, I have been impressed by. Again, I can’t speak for other people

In terms of Kyle, look, Kyle and I were together in Chicago (in 2015), the conversation I had with Kyle was more as a friend. There were some ideas that were thrown out there, but it wasn’t so much the GM and the player, it was a conversation on two former co-workers catching up.

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Douglas asked if he needs to communicate better with players – his response . . . 07.28.20

Here is a snippet from Joe Douglas conference call with reporters, and one of the questions pertains to perhaps communicating with players better:

Andy Vasquez – Bergen Record: At the end of last year, you said communication was something you wanted to work on, and Jamal, obviously, you guys weren’t on the same page with the negotiations. So how do you feel your communication was in the negotiations, and as a team, where do you guys think you are with that issue? Jamal isn’t the first player you had some disagreements with.

Douglas: I think the communication from my standpoint was pretty clear. I feel like in most cases, players rely on their agent to handle any talks about his future, and that is how we handled it with Jamal and his representative, and I feel like our communication was very clear from the very beginning. I feel like, look, there are going to be things we can constantly improve on – communication will certainly be one of those things.

Brian Costello – New York Post: Joe you spoke highly of Jamal from the time you arrived through the off-season. When we talked to you, you said you wanted him to be a Jet for life. Are you disappointed it came to this, and you had to trade him?

Douglas: It certainly wasn’t the plan when I first arrived here. It really was our plan to keep Jamal here, but when our conversations started with John (Schneider) and Seattle a couple of weeks ago, the focus became clear that his was a great opportunity for us and the franchise moving forward.

Connor Hughes – The Athletic: Joe, you obviously said you were having these conversations with the Seahawks the the last couple of weeks, but were there other teams involved in this as well? Was there a point it became just the Seahawks you were talking to or were other teams in it to the end?

Douglas: There were other teams that reached out and expressed their interest, but it became clear once we received phone calls, it was Seattle. They were aggressive in their pursuit of him and we were able to work it all out.

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Joe Douglas makes it clear he feels Jamal Adams lied to the Daily News 07.28.20

Joe Douglas didn’t wait to be asked a question about – he brought it up on his own.

In his conference call with the reporters on Monday, Jets GM Joe Douglas had a long opening statement, dealing with matters like the Jamal Adams’ trade, COVID-19, Adam Gase, Woody Johnson and so forth.

In that opening statement, he, of his own volition, made a statement about Adams telling the Daily News that the GM said he would offer him a new deal this off-season.

“Before I move on to some other points, I just want to make it clear that I never promised an offer to Jamal or his agent, nor was I ever dishonest or ambiguous in any cases with their camp,” Douglas said.

Adams told the Daily News last week: “For them to tell me that they’re going to pay me and then not send over a proposal after they said that’s what they were going to, that’s where we go wrong. And then for you to ignore me, that’s why I have a problem.”

So, according to Douglas. this statement by Adams isn’t true, and for the GM to bring it up in his opening statement, before even being asked a question, shows you how much being portrayed as a liar stuck in his craw.

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Pete Carroll – ‘We’re all fired up about it’ 07.27.20

Here is what Seattle coach Pete Carroll had to say on SiriusXM NFL Radio about trading for Jamal Adams:

“Yeah, well, we’re really pumped about it. It’s so difficult to get a great player on your team, and when you have that opportunity, and you’ve got to take a good look at — John Schneider did a fantastic job of following through this process.

“We’ve been drafting in the low twenties and the thirties or something forever, and that pick has never allowed us that kind of opportunity. We’re sitting there on draft day and we see a guy up there on the board that we covet and we’ve got to do whatever we can to get him, then what would it take to get up there in the — he was picked sixth or fifth, or whatever the heck it was. He would probably take a number one [draft pick] — and it’d probably take something else. Shoot, we can get this guy to play on our team right now.

“John did an incredible job, and I think this is another statement for John Schneider, man. He has done such a remarkable job for so many years. He’s got the chutzpah go for it, and he did it again. And I’m just — we’re all fired up about it and looking forward to Jamal [Adams] coming to our club.”

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How’d that work out? 07.25.20

The Jets announced they’ve acquired three draft picks from the Seattle Seahawks, including a pair of first-rounders, and S Bradley McDougald, in exchange for safety Jamal Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022.  In the trade, the Jets obtained the Seahawks’ first-round picks in both 2021 and 2022 as well as a third-rounder in 2021.

Landing two first-round picks, a third-rounder, and a starting safety, McDougald, is quite a haul for Adams.

On June 19 in the premium section of this website, we wrote that Seattle would be the ideal landing spot for a few reasons. Here is what was written:

“If the Jets cave to Adams trade demands, a team that makes a ton of sense for an Adams trade is Seattle, for a few reasons.

“Pete Carroll is a 68-year-old head coach is wants to win now, and has no problem trading quality draft picks and players, in trades, to get players he thinks he can push him over the top.

“Remember on September 1, 2017, he sent a second-round pick, along with WR Jermaine Kearse, to the Jets, for Sheldon Richardson.

“Then, August 31, 2019, he traded a third-round pick, along with a couple of players, to the Houston Texans, for Jadeveon Clowney.

“So Carroll isn’t adverse to making big summer trades to acquire players he thinks can help deliver a Super Bowl to his team that season. Unlike some other coaches, he’s not concerned with getting rid of future draft capital to push his team over the top in a given season. While there is a GM in Seattle, Carroll has final say on personnel.

“Also, Carroll loves having dynamic safeties, like during the ‘Legion of Boom’ days with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. They haven’t been nearly as good at safety since the departure of those two players. They need a game-changing safety to help a defense that was pretty bad last year, finishing 26th in the league.

“The Seahawks run defense was disappointing last year, and Adams is an enforcer against the run.”

So Jets GM Joe Douglas did a skillful job here getting a team with an older coach, desperate to win a ring this year, to ante up a king’s ransom for the dismayed safety.

Not bad for a GM considered “inexperienced” in some quarters.

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Jets DB Coach Wilson on Adams 07.09.20

So how does Jamal Adams’ position coach feel about the safety’s desire to be traded.

“I really didn’t have a reaction to it,” Dennard Wilson said recently. “That’s not my business. I’m not at the table to talk about contracts or who wants to be traded or anything like that. That’s not my responsibility. The way I look at it, Jamal is still on on the team and I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

Adams, who held out of the team’s virtual off-season program, wants to be traded. If the player is forced to stay with the Jets, what will his mindset be? Will he be fully committed?

“From my perspective, I’ve coached his young man since he came into the National Football League, and the relationship I have with him, his preparation, he will be unfazed,” Wilson said.

So he won’t be distracted by the fact that he doesn’t want to be on the team?

“I’m not worried about him having distractions,” Wilson said. “Jamal loves football and when he gets on the grass is ready to play, he is going to do everything in his power to be at the best of his ability. So from my standpoint, being the guy who coached him since he’s been in the league, I don’t worry about it. When Jamal shows up, he will be fully prepared. He will do his job to the best of his ability.”

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Williams ‘Can’t Wait’ to get him back 07.08.20

Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams can’t contain his excitement about the return of this player.

Talking about Jets inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, who missed most of last season with a sports hernia.

“I can’t wait for him to be healthy for the whole season,” Williams said recently. “His teammates can’t wait for him to get going out there too.”

The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker isn’t just a really good player, against the run and the pass, but the leader of the Jets’ defense.

“He can coach this group of linebackers; that’s how smart he is,” Williams said.

And he’s a big-time playmaker, with top-shelf instincts, who’s always around the football.

“He’s dominant around the ball, he’s a playmaker, he can make plays where the ball is and can’t wait for him to get started,” Williams said.

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Williams-‘You have your second family’ 07.07.20

Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has talked to his players about a lot more than football during this crazy NFL off-season.

“I’m a life coach first, and then a football coach second,” Williams said recently. “To be able to help different people that have different things going on. The quarantine is one thing, and then other things get expanded a little bit, and be able to be there for them to discuss things, and we have.”

Williams believes a team is about more than just football.

“We’re a family,” said Williams. “You have your biological family, and then you have your second family, and we look at each other like a family.”

He also believes that good teams come together and can overcome any adversity.

“It’s crazy times, but you have to be able to adapt and improvise,” said Williams. “You have to be able to handle these kind of things, otherwise you’re not at the top of the profession in what we do in the NFL and the world.”

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The new issue of Jets Confidential Magazine comes out in two weeks. So much stuff about Gang Green you won’t read anywhere else. A must-read for Jets fans! To subscribe, click below, or call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 9-5). Get it, you won’t regret it!

 


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