During his decade at the helm as general manager for the Seahawks, John Schneider has never shied away from making bold, splashy moves. Whether trading away a top pick for Percy Harvin in 2013 or renting Jadeveon Clowney last August, he hasn't been afraid to roll the dice to acquire proven talent.
On Saturday, Schneider may have taken his greatest gamble yet, shipping away two premium first-round picks, a third-round pick, and a reliable veteran in Bradley McDougald to the Jets to land All-Pro safety Jamal Adams. The deal is pending a physical.
From New York's perspective, with Adams still under contract for two more years after having his fifth-year option picked up, there wasn't an urgency to make a trade. General manager Joe Douglas would have to be blown away by an offer to move one of the best young defenders in the NFL.
But that's exactly what Schneider did. And while he gave up the farm to land Adams, he finally fulfilled quarterback Russell Wilson's demands by acquiring a superstar who should prove to be well worth the incredible investment.
Still just 24 years old, Adams has been a star since arriving as a top-10 pick out of LSU in 2017. In terms of his skills and athletic toolbox, there's no limit to what he can do on the field and after being a First-Team All-Pro selection last year, he may not be in his prime just yet.
At 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, Adams plays with the ferocity and aggressiveness of a linebacker near the line of scrimmage. He can blow up running backs in the backfield, routinely jars the football away from ball carriers with bone-jarring hits, and as evidenced by his 12.0 career sacks - including 6.5 last season - he's arguably the best blitzing defensive back in the sport.
But before classifying Adams as just a box safety, it's also worth noting he ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at LSU's pro day prior to the 2017 NFL Draft. This elite speed shows up on the field, as he's an interchangeable safety can play the deep third as a center fielder in a pinch and produced 25 passes defensed and two interceptions in coverage over the past three years.
Most importantly, Adams offers rare play-making skills coach Pete Carroll covets on defense, as he's turned eight career turnovers into two defensive scores. In just 46 career games, he has returned both an interception and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
It's not far-fetched to call Adams a hybrid of former Seahawks legends Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. He's that good.
Joining the ball-hawking Quandre Diggs in the secondary, the arrival of Adams could give the Seahawks the best safety tandem in the entire NFL. Both players excel at creating turnovers and offer diverse skill sets, providing much-needed flexibility for Carroll and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., who should be able to concoct some fun three-safety looks with Marquise Blair on the field as well.
Surrendering two first-round picks is a hefty price tag to obtain such flexibility, but the Seahawks haven't exactly been lighting it up with those top selections in recent years anyway. The last two first-round selections - Rashaad Penny and L.J. Collier - have battled injuries and struggled to produce on the field.
Meanwhile, the rest of the NFC West has only gotten better. The Cardinals traded for dynamic receiver Deandre Hopkins, the 49ers acquired a future Hall of Fame tackle in Trent Williams, and the Rams added cornerback Jalen Ramsey during the middle of the 2019 season. It's going to be a gauntlet and the Seahawks had to make a move to keep up with the Joneses.
With Adams, Seattle adds an elite game-changing talent to the mix whose presence will make everyone else around him better on a defense that struggled much of the 2019 season. When he does receive a lucrative extension - one the Seahawks will certainly give him down the line - he will be worth every single penny.
In the midst of a title window with Wilson in his prime, these are the types of deals that have to be made to win Super Bowls. Though he gave up a fortune, Schneider made the right decision pulling the trigger.