The Miami Dolphins were never players for safety Jamal Adams once he made it clear he wanted the New York Jets to trade him for several reasons, one of which was the fact the Jets weren't going to trade him to a team within their division.
But now Adams is gone, and the Dolphins benefit nonetheless because the Jets defense suddenly doesn't look quite as formidable as it could have been.
And, make no mistake, the Jets could have had a championship-caliber defense without this trade. Don't buy it? Just consider that they finished seventh in the NFL in total defense last season, and that was despite the fact they had the worst offense in the league (meaning their defense was on the field more often) and despite the fact they played essentially the entire season without two established veterans they had signed in free agency — C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson.
Let's also be clear that while there's still some talent on that Jets defense, Adams clearly was that unit's best player.
The Jets will benefit from this trade in the long run if they make good use of the two first-round picks they acquired, but their defense no longer looks elite.
And that will benefit the Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots.
This is just one perspective of the Adams trade, one of many across the SI NFL network:
• We earlier explored how the Adams trade compared to the 2019 Dolphins deals involving Minkah Fitzpatrick, like Adams a safety, and Laremy Tunsil, who like Adams fetched the Dolphins two first-round picks as part of the compensation.
• Kristian Dyer of Jets Country invoked the historic Dallas-Minnesota, Herschel Walker deal in his instant analysis piece:
• Corbin Smith of Seahawk Maven opined king's ransom Seattle paid was well worth it for Adams:
• Jack Curtis of Cal Sports Report wonders if the trade means rookie Ashtyn Davis, a former Golden Bears safety who played for new Dolphins defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander, now has a shot at starting in New York:
• Grant Cohn of All 49ers says this was a missed opportunity for the Seahawks' arch NFC West rivals:
• Patricia Traina of Giants Country says the cross-town rival breathes a sigh of relief that Adams is out of the Gotham area:
• Pete Smith of Browns Digest wrote that Cleveland wasn't ready to pay the "all-in" price for Adams:
• John Shipley of Jags Report said the Adams trade pulls a potential trading partner for Yannick Ngakoue off the table:
• Ed Kracz of Eagle Maven lamented Philadelphia's inability to make a bid for Adams because of its cap woes:
• Mike Fisher of Cowboy Maven wrote that Seattle paid twice the price Dallas would have:
• Luke Easterling of All Bucs wrote that the high cost of doing Jamal Adams business meant Tampa Bay never had a shot:
• Howard Balzer at All Cardinals examined the recent history of blockbuster trades in the AFC West: