Seahawks Set to Make Sizable “Donation” to Prez

Dec 20, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jamal Adams (33) raises a fist during the national anthem prior to the Seahawks’ game agains the Washington Football Team at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks were without star safety Jamal Adams during the team’s mandatory minicamp this week. Just one year after being traded from the New York Jets, it appears the 25-year-old is looking for a new contract.

On his current contract, Adams will earn a base salary of $9,860,000 for the upcoming season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

The truth is, Seattle is in a tough position when it comes to negotiations. Here is a look at why the Seahawks have no choice but to hand Adams the contract he’s seeking.

The Trade

Ultimately, it was Jamal’s contract situation that brought him to request a trade last July. After calling out Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas, and the then-head coach Adam Gase, it was clear that his time in New York was coming to an end.

Insert the Seattle Seahawks. Who gave up two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and safety Bradley McDougald in exchange for the 2019 All-Pro defensive back, and a 2022 fourth-round selection. 

This is a big reason why the Seahawks have little choice in contract negotiations. They gave up a lot of draft capital — some may even argue too much — to only get a single season from Adams. The trade left them with only three draft picks in 2021, and without a first-rounder in 2022. A tough sell if they’re unable to secure the safety for the long term. The team knew they’d have to pay him eventually, and it’s somewhat surprising it’s even taken this long.

The Production

Although he missed four games last season, Adams led Seattle’s defense with 9.5 sacks. He was also among the leaders for quarterback hits with 14, tackles for loss with 11, and quarterback pressures with 26.

His 106 pass-rush snaps were the most among all safeties in 2020. While his pass coverage grade of 86.9 was one of the best in the league, the rest of his PFF grades took a steep decline. Adams’ overall grade of 64.2 was the worst of his career. The same can be said of his coverage grade.

Adams proved to be a leader for the Seahawks’ defense last season. During his four-game absence, the defense allowed 433.5 yards per game to opposing offenses, compared to the 363.9 yards allowed with Jamal in the lineup. Proving that he is a very valuable asset.

No Solid Replacement

By just looking at the depth chart, Seattle currently has Ryan Neal, Joshua Moon, and Aashari Crosswell listed behind the three-time Pro Bowler.

Neal, who is entering his fourth NFL season, started in the four games that Adams missed last year. During those starts, Neal made 28 combined tackles and grabbed his second interception of the season in a win over Miami. He makes for an alright backup, but not a solid option if the Adams contract dispute were to drag on throughout the season. 

As for Joshua Moon, he sat out all of the 2020 season and appears to be a special teamer at best. He’s not likely going to slide in and take over as the starting safety.

Crosswell also sat out last season, after impressing some during his time at Arizona State. Aashari will need to perform excellently during camp to even be considered for anything other than a third or even fourth-string backup.

This may be the biggest reason to push Seattle to give Adams what he’s looking for. And if they don’t, a position that was a positive suddenly becomes a massive negative.

The Future

Adams has played like a top safety since arriving in the NFL, and it only seems fair that he’s looking to get paid like one. 

When you look at the top safety contracts via, the Broncos’ Justin Simmons leads the way, making an average of $15,250,000 per year. Budda Baker, Eddie Jackson, Kevin Byard, and Tyrann Mathieu close out the top five. Adams is likely looking to make at least the same as these players in his next contract. However, it’s even more probable that he’s looking to make more. 

Although Adams was excused by the organization — meaning he won’t be fined for not showing up — doesn’t mean the situation won’t continue to drag on into the summer. If Seattle is smart, they’ll sign him sooner rather than later. Because the alternatives aren’t very appealing.