DANNY ONEIL

O’Neil: Seahawks gave up too much for Jamal Adams, but it’s still exciting

Jul 27, 2020, 11:21 AM

Seahawks Jamal Adams...

All-Pro safety Jamal Adams is headed to the Seahawks for his fourth NFL season. (Getty)

(Getty)

I think the Seahawks gave up too much to get safety Jamal Adams, giving up their first-round picks in each of the next two drafts.

I’m also really excited about the fact that they did it.

Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on Seahawks’ trade for Jamal Adams

And before I get around to talking my way around that clear disconnect in reasoning, let’s start with the reason why Seattle was willing to give up so darn much.

The Seahawks see him as one of the very best defensive players in the entire league, that rare safety who warranted a top-10 pick when he entered the league out of LSU in 2018. But what’s even more interesting about the deal is not just what Seattle sees in Adams but where the Seahawks see themselves: one great player away. That’s the only way you make a deal like this: You think this player puts you over the top.

And the Seahawks very well could be right. The quarterback is at his peak and Seattle doesn’t need its defense to be great, but it does need it to get better. And for all the moves Seattle made to improve its depth this offseason, it didn’t re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, and any hope of defensive improvement rested on one of these young players taking a huge step forward this season.

Well, now that defense has to be better because if it’s not, Seattle just gave away its two biggest chips to improvement over the next two years. You can question the return Seattle has gotten on its first-round picks all you want, but a first-round pick is also what provided the Seahawks with the draft-day capital to acquire the pick that became DK Metcalf among others.

Forget discretion. Don’t sweat the positional value. Seattle just went out and made the kind of deal the Bears made for Khalil Mack and the Rams made for Jalen Ramsey with the primary difference being that the Seahawks have a significantly better (and older) quarterback than either of those two teams.

That’s why I’m excited about the deal. It’s very seldom that an NFL front office looks at the roster on the eve of a season and says, “You know what? (Forget) it. Let’s go for it.”

That’s not to say that Seattle’s front office is timid. The Seahawks have been as aggressive as anyone in the trade market. They gave up a first-round pick and then some for the right to pay Percy Harvin. They packaged a first-round pick and former Pro Bowl center to acquire tight end Jimmy Graham two years after that.

But those were deals at a time when Seattle’s roster was undeniably stocked. The Seahawks had Pro Bowlers coming out of their ears, and while the cupboard isn’t exactly bare right now, who would you have said Seattle’s third-best player was prior to the trade for Adams. It was Russell Wilson, linebacker Bobby Wagner and … K.J. Wright? Tyler Lockett? Maybe Metcalf if he takes a step forward? That’s not a knock on any of those guys, but it is to say that Seattle was lacking a little star power for a team that should be thinking Super Bowl.

So Seattle went and got the best player it could though it comes at a price that made plenty of people do a double-take. The Seahawks got a player who’s better than anyone it could have hoped to pick with either of the first-round choices it gave up. They also got a player who is about to become very, very expensive, and Seattle is essentially giving up two first-round picks for the privilege of doing it.

The only other time Seattle traded away two first-round choices in a deal was when it traded the No. 8 and No. 10 picks in the 1990 draft to move up to No. 3 and choose Cortez Kennedy. That was about moving up in the draft, though. This is moving Seattle out of the first round in each of the next two drafts, which means this deal has to pay off now and makes this season that much more interesting. We get to see if Seattle is right.

Follow Danny O’Neil of Danny and Gallant on Twitter.

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O’Neil: Seahawks gave up too much for Jamal Adams, but it’s still exciting