Salary Cap Analyst: Jamal Adams Set to Become Highest Paid Safety in the NFL
Jamal Adams has shown the NFL why he might be the best safety currently in the league. He’s also showing the New York Jets why it was a good thing that they couldn’t pull off a trade deadline deal for Adams.
And now, the Pro Bowl safety could be set for a big day this offseason.
Still on his rookie contract, Adams might well be ready to cash-in on his performances this year, in particular the past two weeks where he has five sacks and 13 total tackles. He’s certainly a candidate to get a new contract from the Jets, a deal which likely would serve as an extension and add two if not three more years to his existing rookie deal.
“Adams will wind up the highest paid safety in the NFL and I would say that he will likely hit, at the least, the $15 million per year mark,” said Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com.
“It is possible that Adams could reach higher as he has two things going for him. One is that Adams might try to justify a higher number by arguing that the Jets made C.J. Mosley the highest paid linebacker by a
wide margin this past offseason and that he should have the same value (around $17 million). There could be some merit to that approach since the contract team is the same group that negotiated the big deals this offseason even if the general manager is different. This would likely be where we would find out how much of a hands on approach [general manager Joe] Douglas will take with the contract side of the team or not.”
Fitzgerald is a noted salary cap analyst. In addition to his work at OverTheCamp.com he has worked as a consultant with several NFL teams on cap-related issues.
That $15 million number brought up by Fitzgerald would eclipse the average annual contract earning for prominent safeties such as the Tennessee Titans Kevin Byard ($14.1 million), the Kansas City Chiefs Tyrann Mathieu ($14 million) and Washington’s Landon Collins ($14 million).
Byard, Mathieu and Collins are the three highest paid safeties in the NFL.
There might be other reasons why the Jets are willing to pony-up some cash and that is how they handled the trade deadline with Adams. Teams called to enquire about Adams and the Jets did the rightful and smart thing in pursuing due diligence.
They listened to offers, even if they weren’t shopping the player.
But Adams was still affronted by the Jets behavior and publicly went after the team for a lack of support.
“The Jets has mangled their trade with him so badly and have such bad karma with the locker room that he could benefit by being the beneficiary of the olive branch from the front office to show the locker room that they reward players for good performance and also accepting the business side of football and buying in even when unhappy,” Fitzgerald said.
“That can make him a right place, right time candidate if they look to extend him this offseason. That benefit likely only is in place if extended before the start of free agency. The longer it goes the less
benefit I think the Jets would see to doing a move like that.”