Jamal Adams contract trouble could present Jets with Patrick Mahomes ‘what if?’ scenario

AFC safety Jamal Adams (33), of the New York Jets, and AFC quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15), of the Kansas City Chiefs, after being named MVP's during the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Nine teams had selections in the 2017 NFL Draft before the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nine teams passed up on Patrick Mahomes.

The newest Super Bowl champion and game MVP further cemented his status as one of the elite quarterbacks in the game, setting the foundation for a career that could very well span its way to Canton, OH and the Football Hall of Fame.

A relatively deep draft class doesn’t necessarily insinuate that all of those nine teams that passed on Mahomes made bad decisions on draft night three years ago.

But it’s understandable if the Buffalo Bills are feeling a tinge of regret. They traded that No. 10 pick to the Chiefs at the draft and took Wyoming passer Josh Allen — who led them to the playoffs this year — the following year.

Mahomes, wasn’t really that “can’t-miss” prospect coming out of Texas Tech, either.

Yet the Cleveland Browns took Myles Garret with the No. 1 pick. The defensive end has 30.5 sacks in 37 career games, but he’s mired in controversy from the fallout of trying to club Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his helmet.

The Chicago Bears probably feel the worst of all with their decision to take North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2, who has yet to pan out in the NFL.

More insult to injury came when the Houston Texans took Deshaun Watson with the No. 12 pick.

The Super Bowl LIV losers, the 49ers (Solomon Thomas, No. 3), along with the Chargers (Mike Williams, No. 7) and Bengals (John Ross, No. 9) could also be kicking themselves as their picks have yet to work out, too.

The same can’t be said about the Jaguars (Leonard Fournette, No. 4), Titans (Corey Davis, No. 6), and Panthers (Christian McCaffrey, No. 8), who get a pass for their solid selections.

The Jets, however, at No. 7 might be classified in that latter group of not regretting the decision to pass up on Mahomes, but they could at some point soon.

Former general manager Mike Maccagnan made the universally-accepted decision to take LSU safety Jamal Adams, who has developed into a captain of the Jets’ defense and one of the best young players at his position in the NFL.

They opted to ignore their glaring need at quarterback and enter the 2017 season with veteran journeyman Josh McCown at the helm following the departure of Ryan Fitzpatrick while getting backed up by Bryce Petty.

Not exactly confidence-inducing.

But with an eye on the perceived deeper QB class of 2018, the Jets decided to take Adams and it’s paid off for the most part. They came away with Sam Darnold two years ago while Adams picked up two Pro Bowl selections in his first three years, posting 273 combined tackles with 12 sacks and an interception.

Adams and the Jets, though, still seem to be on shaky ground as the offseason is officially ushered in throughout the NFL.

The 24-year-old revealed last week that he and the Jets began contract extension talks, but that is coming after a season that saw Adams nearly dealt at the trade deadline to the Dallas Cowboys.

Those rumors saw Adams’ relationship with the organization deteriorate as he went after upper management through the media.

While there were initial hopes that a new contract could be resolved quickly, that might not be the case.

Adams will likely want to be the NFL’s highest-paid safety, demanding a contract over $32 million guaranteed. However, the Jets hold all the chips as they could control over him for up to three years, which would include a franchise tag option.

Seeing how the franchise tag has been met by other star players — including current Jet Le’Veon Bell when he was with the Steelers — future unpleasantries and holdouts could be on the horizon. That could force the Jets’ hand to either deal with one of their best players sitting or trading him with enough term left on his contract for a solid return.

And we already know that there is an existing market for the Texas native.

Suddenly, the Jets’ pick before Mahomes would be gone to greener pastures, prompting the question from the Gang Green faithful from now until forever.

Would you prefer Sam Darnold or Patrick Mahomes?

Right now, Mahomes is the clear answer. But there’s plenty of time for Darnold to supply a rebuttal.

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