Adam Gase on Jamal Adams’ exit: ‘We want guys who want to be here’

The Jets began life after Jamal Adams on Tuesday when veteran players reported to training camp.

Jets coach Adam Gase spoke with reporters on a conference call, addressing the decision to trade Adams to the Seahawks in return for a package that includes two first-round picks.

“We want guys who want to be here and obviously, he didn’t want to be here anymore,” Gase said. “The decision was made to move on. It’s a team game. We’ve got a bunch of guys that are excited to get going and those are the guys I’m going to focus on.

“The whole situation ends up being a win-win for both sides.”

Adams certainly made it clear he no longer wanted to be here with his trade demand in June, social media posts about wanting to play somewhere else and then taking shots at owner Woody Johnson, GM Joe Douglas and Gase last week.

Gase chose to take the high road on Tuesday when it came to Adams.

“We wish him nothing but the best,” Gase said. “For me personally, he’s an incredible talent that I feel lucky to have been around for that year. Playing against him for two years, he was always a tough guy to go against. Obviously, we’re going to have to go up against him one time this year late in the season. Our organization, we want nothing but the best for him. Hopefully he has great success in Seattle.”

Adams questioned Gase’s leadership and specifically said that the coach did not address the team at halftime when things were not going well. Gase said that was untrue and cited two examples Adams may have missed last year.

“There were two times we were down in the second half of the season and one was the Cincinnati game and I addressed the team at halftime, and one was the Baltimore game and I addressed the team at halftime,” Gase said. “One game he was in the training room at Cincinnati and the other he wasn’t playing. It’s hard for me to answer a question like that when I know the correct answer.”

The Adams saga has been an ugly storyline for the Jets this offseason. They are now trying to move past it with Adams in Seattle and the Jets readying to start a training camp unlike any other.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold spoke to the media as well on Tuesday. He said he loved playing with Adams but did not agree with Adams’ assessment of Gase.

“He’s the right leader for this team, for sure,” Darnold said. “I think for me personally, he’s helped me grow a ton as a quarterback in learning this offense. I just think throughout the weeks leading up to games he does everything that he possibly can to put us in the best position to win on Sundays. That’s from my experience with Coach Gase. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with him so far.”

Gase said the team is ready to move on and he believes in his team even though they just lost an All-Pro player in Adams.

“That’s what makes football the greatest sport there is — it’s a team sport,” Gase said. “I feel like us being able to get Bradley [McDougald] in exchange plus the draft picks puts us in a good position as far as how we’re going to run our defense this year. I do think it’s going to take all three phases for us this year to play as a team and do what we need to do to be playing in January.”

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