When the Seattle Seahawks meet the New York Jets on Sunday in Week 14, it will be the first meeting Jamal Adams has had with his former team of three years since an ugly divorce from the New York Jets led to his eventual trade to Seattle in late July.
Things soured between the All-Pro safety and the Jets over the summer after Adams requested a trade stemming from frustration over the lack of a new long-term deal.
Before being traded to the Seahawks, Adams openly criticized the Jets head coach, saying he didn’t feel like Gase was the “right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land,” and didn’t have a relationship with “everybody in the building.”
Four days later, Adams was a member of the Seahawks.
With the Jets set to face Adams and the Seahawks for the first time since the trade, Gase admitted he was taken back by Adams’ comments. The 42-year-old head coach said he thought he and the Jets' former sixth-overall pick had a solid relationship.
"I thought it was good, but obviously he felt different," Gase told reporters on Thursday via Zoom. "I don't know. I never had any poor interactions with him. Thought everything was -- he was somebody I would talk to a lot and communicated with. Once the offseason hit, that's kind of where (things changed). I'm not in charge of contracts, I'm not involved in those talks. That's kind of where his agent and front office guys gotta go to work."
Gase shared he was also hurt by Adams’ criticism.
“Yeah, it just surprised me,” Gase said. “But it is what it is.”
It was a challenging three years for Adams and the Jets. New York was 16-32 in Adams' three seasons, but the safety did earn two Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro selection during his tenure.
“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.
The Jets did receive a nice return package for Adams when he departed for Seattle. New York received safety Bradley McDougald, a 2021 first-round pick, a 2021 third-rounder and a 2022 first-rounder.
The Seahawks benefited too. Adams has been blitzing his way to the record books and now has 7.5 sacks on the season, one half-sack shy of the NFL's single-season record for a defensive back.
“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.”