4 things to know about new Jets WR Rodney Adams

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The Jets signed 12 players to future/reserve deals earlier this week in an effort to bolster their depth heading into the offseason.

Among those to sign with New York was wide receiver Rodney Adams. The 27-year-old took a somewhat unique path to the NFL, as a personal tragedy led to a major change in his college football career before he ascended to the professional ranks.

Here are four things to know about Adams.

Tragedy strikes

AP Photo/John Amis

Adams’ world was turned upside down in 2013, as his mother, Michelle Conway Scott, died in a car accident. Adams was a freshman at the University of Toledo at the time of the accident and was granted a hardship waiver to transfer to the University of South Florida to be closer to home. Adams took over legal guardianship of his 16-year-old brother and dedicated his football career to his mother.

South Florida record holder

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Adams went on to have a standout career at South Florida, catching 135 passes for 1,967 yards and 16 touchdowns in three seasons with the program. Adams caught a South Florida record 67 passes in his senior season and tied his own single-season record with 822 receiving yards. Adams’ 16 touchdown catches rank second in program history.

NFL experience

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The Vikings selected Adams in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft. He made the 53-man roster out of training camp, but was waived and signed to the practice squad midway through the season. Adams then caught on with the Colts and spent 2018 in Indianapolis before being placed on the reserve/retired list at season’s end. Adams returned to the Colts in 2020 but was waived at the end of training camp and signed with the Bears, where he spent the last two seasons. Adams has appeared in two games in his NFL career.

Return specialist

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Adams was a kick return specialist during his time at South Florida, returning 46 kicks for 1,140 yards, including a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Adams’ experience returning kicks could loom large as he embarks on the next chapter of his football career with the Jets, as All-Pro return man Braxton Berrios is set to hit free agency.

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