Jamal Adams is always striving to be the best version of himself.
It’s why, when he landed in Seattle for the first time, he experienced a unique sense of camaraderie with inspiring Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.
“He stopped me and he was like, 'Hey, you don't have to do anything special but just be you,” Adams said in January. “You don't have to change anything. I want you to come here and be Jamal Adams, be the best version of Jamal Adams. Whatever you want to do, on and off the field, for your future, whatever--do it to the best of your ability and just be a true pro at it.”
But over the years, the three-time Pro Bowl safety has drawn inspiration from an eclectic mix of the sports and entertainment world’s all-time greats. And surprisingly enough, not one of them has anything to do with the field of football.
“Every day I would have to say I study four people: Jay Z, Nipsey Hussle, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan,” Adams told Jordan Schultz of the Schultz Report. “I study four people every day. I’m always doing something to where I’m either watching a podcast, watching an interview, watching their highlights. It doesn’t matter bruh. I’m always getting free game from these four guys man.”
Like the four icons he mentioned above, Adams hopes to inspire others through his play and ability to use his platform to raise awareness about the causes closest to his heart.
Throughout the 2020 NFL season, the star safety raised a single fist during the national anthem to fight for social justice in America.
On the field, he channeled his Mamba Mentality as he battled through numerous injuries, including a torn labrum and multiple broken fingers, yet that didn’t stop him from finishing the season with a team-high 9.5 sacks - an NFL record for a defensive back.
"It's part of the game. I'm not sitting here making excuses for anything, it's part of the game, and like I said early in the week, there was no doubt in my mind that I wasn't going to go out there and attempt to play,” Adams said after the Seahawks disappointing Wild Card playoff exit in January. “I did what I could, I wish I could have done more to help the team win, but obviously things didn't roll our way."
As Adams nears a comeback in 2021, he hopes to display his passion for the game with a return to the Seattle Seahawks. The 25-year-old will hit free agency in March after playing the final season of his rookie deal. If he’s learned anything from the forementioned greats who he draws inspiration from, it’s that “money talks,” and Adams will soon want his from Seattle.