As concerns over COVID-19 protocols increased and players found commonality in their preference for virtual team activities, the majority of the NFL stood in solidarity by modifying or opting out of in-person, voluntary OTAs. The Seahawks were one of the first to make their stance known, issuing a statement on April 13 via the NFLPA.
Seattle kept the door open for its players to participate if they changed their mind, beginning OTAs with a little over 40 bodies—most of whom were carried over from the team's rookie minicamp in mid-May. But as the days went along, veterans started trickling in.
Once the final week of the voluntary workouts kicked off this past Monday, 76 players were in attendance. And that number only grew north of 80 by the end of the week, with many of the Seahawks' star players among them.
But there's been one major omission: All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, who's entering the final year of his rookie contract. With that, of course, comes much speculation about a potential holdout from the former top-10 draft selection. And with mandatory minicamp beginning on Tuesday, Adams could be in line to lose a decent chunk of change if his absence continues into next week.
If so, the Seahawks can opt to fine him for each day he misses. Under the NFL's current collective bargaining agreement, they can dole out a fine of $15,515 for the first day missed, $31,030 for the second and $46,510 for the third for a grand total of $93,055.
However, there are reasons to believe it won't come to that, even if Adams is a no-show.
The Seahawks seemingly don't hold any reservations about extending Adams and have not been shy to say so in a public forum. In their pre-draft media appearance in April, general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll sung the praises of their superstar safety while making their intentions clear about his future in Seattle.
“We want him to be here long-term for sure," said Schneider. "He’s a great player, really glad we made the trade to get him, and he’s going to be a very important part of our future.”
That said, negotiations have long been expected to be uniquely complicated. In addition to his safety skills, Adams's success as a pass rusher - which saw him break the single-season record for most sacks by a defensive back with 9.5 last year - is a key piece to these talks. Presumably, he not only wants to become the highest-paid safety in the NFL, but he wants to be valued as one of the best all-around defenders as well.
Right now, the top-paid player at Adams's position is Denver's Justin Simmons, who signed a four-year extension worth $61 million in March. Compared to other positions, however, safety is lagging behind in terms of valuation; Simmons's deal currently sits 29th among defensive players.
Adams doesn't view himself that far down the food chain, especially for the impact he has outside of Seattle's defensive backfield. Therefore, he may have aspirations of a deal worth an upwards of $20 million per year, more in line with that of a top-billed pass rusher.
That doesn't mean he'll eventually land a contract of that mold though, and the Seahawks have a solid case to make against it. Negotiations are a ruthless realm and Schneider, Matt Thomas and company aren't going to hold back in talking Adams and his agent down from such a massive asking price. Whether it's appropriate or not, negatives such as his laundry list of injuries and lack of interceptions in 2020 will assuredly come up and devalue him to some degree.
But such is the nature of almost all contract negotiations with high-profile players. In the end, Adams and the Seahawks should be able to come to an agreement on an extension that'll keep the LSU product in the Pacific Northwest for the foreseeable future.
This was always going to be a long, drawn-out process with a conclusion expected to come at some point during training camp in July or early August. The Seahawks have historically finalized some of their biggest extensions around that time, so it stands to reason that trend will continue.
Even if Adams doesn't appear at the team's mandatory minicamp, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Again, this is the nature of these kinds of negotiations in today's NFL, and Adams is a highly confident and headstrong individual.
But given the love both sides have shown one another in the time since Adams was acquired from the Jets last summer, there should be little-to-no doubt No. 33 is a Seahawk for the long haul.