Jets' Adams appealing fine, says refs apologized

Stephen A. on Adams' gripe: The NFL is unfair to defensive players (1:44)

Stephen A. Smith reacts to Jets safety Jamal Adams being fined for roughing the passer and explains why it is more profitable for the NFL to be tougher on defenses. (1:44)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets safety Jamal Adams is appealing his $21,506 fine, insisting he delivered a legal hit Monday night on Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Adams, who called the fine a "damn joke" Wednesday night on social media, told reporters Thursday that the officiating crew "apologized" to the Jets' coaching staff after the game for blowing the call. A league source, after reviewing the roughing-the-passer penalty, said the officials made the correct call.

"It bothered me a lot because it's kind of like, what do you want me to do?" Adams said. "It was legal. Next time, I might just tag him on the hip and say he's it and play tag with him. I don't know what else you want me to do in that situation.

"Maybe we need to just put red jerseys on quarterbacks. I'm just being honest."

Adams, who made the Pro Bowl in 2018, said he will "continue to play my game" as long as it doesn't hurt the team.

Upon learning of the fine, Adams went on a Twitter rant Wednesday. He didn't back down from his comments.

"The frustrating part is it's 21K," he said. "That's the frustrating part, you know what I mean? It's the money. That's what I'm frustrated about. Obviously, I'm not going to get too in-depth with it because my mother told me to calm down. She was upset with me that I was cursing last night on social media. So I'm not going to curse now.

"That's what I'm mad about. I'm mad about the 21K. That's where it starts. It was a legal hit, in my opinion. It wasn't unnecessary roughness. If anything, it didn't look like Baker was in any pain because he got up and talked noise to me.

"At the end of the day, I guess we can't touch quarterbacks."