Adams has asked for a trade from the Jets, but Williams said he still hopes that Adams is a member of his defense.
“You never, ever mess with a guy’s contract, but I’ve got his back on those types of things,” Williams told reporters on a conference call. “He has to get all that stuff settled, so now, boom, get back into our setting and now we’re ready to roll. He knows that.”
The 24-year-old All-Pro safety has been seeking a contract extension from the Jets all offseason. While Jets general manager Joe Douglas has said he wants Adams to be a “Jet for life,” he has not shown any urgency about extending Adams, who has two years remaining on his deal. That has led to Adams requesting a trade.
Adams and his agents may want to bring Williams along to a negotiating session because he was effusive in his praise.
“I think the world of him,” Williams said. “I’ve had a chance to coach a lot of really good players, some that are already in the Hall of Fame and many others that are going to go into the Hall of Fame. He’s going to have a legitimate chance, staying healthy, to be one of those guys later on that we’ll all talk about.
“The biggest thing with him is he is a really, really good football player.”
Williams said he learned a long time ago not to get involved with contract negotiations and leave that to the front office. Williams said he supports Adams and hopes to coach him soon.
“He has to handle his contract,” Williams said. “He’ll do all that kind of stuff. He’s doing those things. We always have to have the next man up philosophy. I’m hoping everything goes well. I love coaching him and I’ve got his back.”
Williams highlighted Adams’ versatility, saying he has the ability to be a safety, a linebacker, an edge rusher and a run stopper. He said a play Adams made in Jacksonville last year was one of the best plays he’s ever seen. Adams chased running back Leonard Fournette down after a 66-yard gain, preventing a touchdown.
As for Adams request to be traded, Williams said he was “levelheaded” when he heard about it.
“I want him to feel good about being here. I want him to feel good about everything that’s going on,” he said. “He knows when he gets inside the doors and inside the white lines with us, there’s a chemistry that’s outstanding. I’ve been through this before with other players. You can’t get too emotional. I can’t. I’ve got to stay levelheaded with that and just know that I can’t wait to get a chance to coach him again.”
Defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson, who has coached Adams since he joined the Jets in 2017 said he believes Adams will be able to put the contract dispute behind him once he gets on the practice field.
“He will be unfazed,” Wilson said. “I’m not worried about him coming back and having distractions.”