A year after the Seattle Seahawks traded two first-round picks to the New York Jets for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams, the franchise is running into trouble in contract negotiations with the regular season drawing closer.
Seattle knew when it acquired Adams that he wanted to become one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL. With two years of contract control and new NFL rules making holdouts a thing of the past, the front office felt comfortable trading two premium picks to improve the defense.
Adams delivered for the Seahawks in his first season with the franchise. He was named second-team All-Pro, registering 14 quarterback hits and 9.5 sacks in only 12 games. He was the impact safety Seattle’s defense needed and the front office knew it needed to pay him.
But with Adams now in a contract year, negotiations between the two sides don’t seem to be going well based on the latest report from NBC Sports’ Peter King.
“I hear the Seahawks have stretched themselves quite a bit for Adams, but he’s still not happy with the offer, and if you know Seattle’s negotiating stance, it’s not likely the offer’s going to change much now.”NBC Sports’ Peter King on contract talks between Seattle Seahawks, Jamal Adams
Adams reported for training camp, avoiding $50,000 fines that would be required for each day missed under the new CBA. But he isn’t taking part in practice, opting to preserve his body and avoid a potential injury that might hurt him in negotiations.
Seattle certainly might feel it has stretched its willingness to negotiate and the front office certainly believes it’s making a fair offer. But when general manager John Schneider traded a pair of first-round picks for Adams, he gave the star safety all the leverage in negotiations.
Finding a resolution for the Seattle Seahawks, Jamal Adams
The Seahawks don’t have a ton of options, especially at a time when Russell Wilson is applying pressure on the front office to sign Adams and left tackle Duane Brown to long-term deals. Wilson’s relationship with the front office was already tenuous and failed talks with Adams and Brown would make things worse.
While Seattle could apply the franchise tag to Adams in 2022, that further delays the inevitable. One important factor to keep in mind, after a pandemic-caused dip in the salary cap this year, the 2022 figure will rise significantly.
The Denver Broncos made Justin Simmons the highest-paid safety in the NFL this year with a $61 million contract worth $15.25 million annually and carrying $32.1 million guaranteed. Seattle needs to beat all of those marks.
While Adams doesn’t make the same impact in coverage, he is still an elite player. He performs well against the run and the 6-foot-1 defensive back is a force like no other at his position when rushing the passer. The former No. 6 overall pick could argue, based on his pass-rush productivity, that he deserves to be paid like an edge rusher.
Ultimately, a four-year contract worth more than $72 million might be the starting point of a resolution. Heavy guarantees and a chance to hit the open market before his age-29 season might be enough to convince Adams to sign.