Impressed with the Lions’ pitch and the obvious role he could play bolstering their defence, he asked for a trade.
“I almost felt like I did not want to play any more so the change sort of reinvigorated me,” Adams said.
He was traded for pick 32 and a future third-round pick, having played 27 games (including earning two Brownlow votes in his third game) with the club after arriving from Perth as a mature-aged draftee at the start of 2016.
Yet to play a game at the Lions and with a knee injury set to sideline him for another month, he has already achieved one thing through the move: some perspective on his time at the Bulldogs.
“When you get caught into a bit of rut and you are not seeing things necessarily clearly and you start to look at everything negatively you see things as being worse than they are,” Adams said.
“Now that I can reflect a bit more [on] the time there I learnt heaps and, for the most part, had quite a good experience.
“But at the same time I was pretty stale I think and I wasn’t enjoying footy as much as I like and it wasn’t the fault of anyone there.”
I was pretty stale I think and I wasn’t enjoying footy as much as I like …
Now the only thing annoying him is the knee injury, which occurred just before Christmas and led eventually to surgery in the new year.
Having battled foot and ankle problems at the Bulldogs he could have been forgiven for thinking ‘here we go again’, but the new environment has also given Adams a fresh outlook.
“It’s not anyone or anything that is happening [that matters]. It’s your view on it,” Adams said.
His view on what he can offer at the Lions is clear and he is excited by it.
Slotting in alongside Harris Andrews, Darcy Gardiner and Josh Walker he will be able to use his ability to read the play to take intercept marks more effectively than he was able to with the Bulldogs.
There, when he was tried in a variety of roles, versatility (sometimes through necessity) was more highly valued than stability.
He has seen how Richmond defenders operate as a group with Alex Rance, David Astbury and Dylan Grimes experts at manipulating match-ups to their advantage and can see a future with the Brisbane Lions operating in a similar manner.
“The way we will line up there is an opportunity for me to get a spot,” Adams said.
“We are a pretty young group. I am one of the older guys, which gives you a bit of a different role as well in what you can provide.”
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.