Could Seahawks Explore Blockbuster Deal for Jets S Jamal Adams?
As the start of training camp slowly approaches, the Seahawks still have several question marks to address on defense. In particular, the organization has already been linked to a veteran defensive tackle and could still be in the mix for Jadeveon Clowney or Everson Griffen to further bolster their edge rush.
But while the defensive line still could use some reinforcements before camp opens, Seattle should feel far better about the safety positions than this time a year ago. The acquisition of Quandre Diggs last October brought stability to the back half of the defense, giving the team a stellar veteran duo with the 2018 Pro Bowl alternate teaming up with Bradley McDougald.
Behind Diggs and McDougald, 2019 second-round pick Marquise Blair flashed in three starts for the Seahawks as a rookie and could be the starting strong safety in waiting. Lano Hill also remains on the roster, providing another experienced option who has played both safety spots and special teams.
With that said, both McDougald and Hill will be free agents next March and Blair still has much to prove after struggling to earn the trust of Seattle's coaching staff last season. Beyond 2020, question marks at the position remain and with Clowney remaining unsigned, the defense could use additional star power.
Keeping that in mind, considering general manager John Schneider's willingness to make bold trades in the past, could the Seahawks investigate a possible deal to acquire disgruntled Jets safety Jamal Adams?
Per Gary Myers of New York Daily News, the Jets haven't been open to negotiating a possible extension with Adams, preferring to wait until at least the start of the regular season. The player wants a new contract now, only increasing tension that has long existed between the two sides.
Dating back to last year's trade deadline, Adams has consistently been linked to the Cowboys, who reportedly remain his ideal landing spot in an effort to return to his home state of Texas. He even told reporters he would have "loved to be" traded to Dallas after no deal was made.
At this stage, though reports indicate the Jets aren't interested in parting ways with their star safety, they may have no choice. This stalemate has further widened the divide between the organization and the former first round pick, potentially reaching "pay me or trade me" territory.
Though McDougald has been a quality starter for the past two seasons and his leadership has been invaluable for a young secondary, Adams is a two-time Pro Bowler who would be a significant upgrade if the Seahawks managed to trade for him.
At 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, Adams is a thumper who has racked up 273 tackles and 28 tackles for loss in three NFL seasons thus far. Additionally, he's a fantastic blitzer who can help supplement his team's pass rush, having produced 12.0 sacks and 23 quarterback hits during that span.
A superior athlete to McDougald, Adams also excelled in coverage, registering 25 passes defensed and a pair of interceptions while playing near the line of scrimmage as well as dropping back deep in coverage.
Over the past three years, Adams has consistently received elite marks from Pro Football Focus, specifically earning 87.9 and 89.8 grades over the past two seasons for the Jets. He's received a grade of 75 or higher in coverage, run defense, and blitzing each of the past two years, showing off his multi-faceted game.
Given his production and versatility, there's a reason the Jets reportedly want at least a first-round and a third-round pick in exchange for Adams via trade. That's a steep cost only magnified by the fact he needs a new contract, which could be far more than Schneider is willing to pay at $15 million or more per year.
But if the Seahawks wanted to explore such a deal, a strong argument can be made that the 24-year old Adams would be well worth the draft compensation. He's as complete of a safety as can be found in the modern NFL and his ability to be interchangeable at either safety spot as well as guising as an extra linebacker makes him an invaluable asset.
Even if Schneider has been averse to dishing out $20 million or more per year for Frank Clark and Clowney the last two years, he may feel differently about a game-changing safety.
To help facilitate a trade and absorb Adams' lucrative extension, the Seahawks could trade or release McDougald, opening up more than $4 million in instant cap relief. The team also has four restricted free agent signings - Jacob Hollister, Joey Hunt, David Moore, and Branden Jackson - who could all be released without a dead cap hit to create up to $7 million in cap room.
With those extra funds, the Seahawks could easily swing a sign-and-trade with the Jets, adding a bonafide star and irreplaceable chess piece to a defense that struggled mightily for most of the 2019 season.
Since orchestrating a trade for Sheldon Richardson back in 2017, Schneider has avoided the typical blockbuster trade giving up high draft picks for a proven superstar. He waited out Clowney's situation with the Texans before trading a third-round pick for him and basically stole Diggs for a fifth-round pick.
Playing a bit more conservatively in regards to trades, it seems unlikely Schneider and the Seahawks will give serious thought to pursuing such a move at this time. Adams also holds some leverage here, as he has to agree to an extension to make the trade work, and his heart looks set on the Cowboys.
But like with Clowney last August, if Adams hasn't been dealt elsewhere, opts to hold out of camp, and the Jets asking price drops, look for him to keep a close eye on the star safety's situation ready to pounce.