Huard: The good and the bad of the Seahawks’ trade for Jamal Adams
The Seahawks made far and away their biggest move of the offseason on Saturday, acquiring All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and a fourth-round pick from the New York Jets. The price for getting Adams, 24, was quite step, as Seattle had to part with their first-round picks in 2021 and 2022, a 2021 third-round pick, as well as safety Bradley McDougald, who has started for the Seahawks the last two seasons.
The move has been both praised and scrutinized around the league and in the media – sometimes both by the same person – because Adams is a game-changing player on defense, but the type of haul that New York got from Seattle is typically reserved for more impactful positions such as edge rusher, left tackle or cornerback. Trades involving two first-round picks in recent years have been for players at those three positions, but never a safety. Until now that is.
Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard is someone who sees both sides of the deal. He tweeted out after the deal was announced that he likes the player, but doesn’t necessarily like the trade.
I may not like the deal, that doesn’t mean I don’t like the player. Adams was one of my favorites coming out of LSU & has a hunger & love for ball that will be incredible for the youngsters. Combo Kam & Earl.
Vs Rams, Cards & Niners you have to cover & crush underneath routes
— Brock Huard (@BrockHuard) July 25, 2020
He explained why the deal is both good and bad for the Seahawks to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Monday.
Let’s start positive. Why is acquiring Adams, who is entering his fourth year in the NFL, a good thing for the Seahawks?
“Because he puts on a Seahawks uniform and becomes the most instinctive player on your entire football team,” Huard said. ” … I did not say ‘best defensive player’ because (linebacker Bobby Wagner) would be upset with that, but as far as instinctive players, as far as a ballhawk, for a guy who comes around the line of scrimmage and just has an ability to read and react in the run game, it’s truly unique among safeties and something the team has not since Kam Chancellor (retired).”
Last season, Adams had over 75 tackles and had 6.5 sacks, an interception for a touchdown as well as a fumble recovery for a touchdown. He is a hard hitter and plays closer to the line of scrimmage, which is similar to what Chancellor did during his career with the Seahawks. And when Chancellor played, he had Earl Thomas playing over the top. The Seahawks now have Quandre Diggs, who had three interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in just five regular season games in Seattle last year, giving the team its best safety duo in years. But Huard says it’s all about how Seattle utilizes its newest player.
“I really hope they use him to his skillset, that they play to his incredible strengths around that line of scrimmage and get a little bit more creative. For those that want to ‘let Russ cook,’ you’d better be just as vocal or loud with ‘let Jamal cook,'” Huard said, pointing to the crowd of Seahawks fans who want quarterback Russell Wilson to be more of the focal point on offense. “Jamal has got to play all around the field, around that line of scrimmage. He’d better be a blitzer, he’d better match up with the best tight ends in this division, you’d better cut him loose to use those instincts to the best of their ability and if they do, he will become incredibly productive and may even pass Bobby as the best defensive player on this team.”
The bad element of the trade is simple, Huard said.
“Because you gave up a lot of capital,” he said, adding that the team not only will be giving up three picks, but will be paying Adams likely the most money for a safety in the league when the two sides reach an agreement on a contract extension. “… Anybody that thinks you gave up that bounty and are just going to not pay him after next season, that’s not going to happen. And you’re going to have to make him happy, something that New York could not do (financially).”
Another key issue, Huard said, is it goes somewhat against the philosophy that head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have used in building their teams.
“Your program for a decade has been built on volume. Your program for a decade has been built on development,” Huatd said. “That’s the very essence of what you’ve been for a decade and why you have been to the playoffs seemingly every year is you love manipulating the draft. You love getting more bites at the apple, you love adding volume knowing that a lot of draft picks not just in Seattle but all over the league (don’t work out). By giving away your two first-round picks the next two years and a third rounder next year, there goes that ability to be incredibly flexible on draft day, which is really one of John Schneider’s great strengths.”
And even though the Seahawks have been scrutinized for missing on first rounders, Huard says those players are typically supposed to be the most talented cost-controlled players on the roster. Now, unless the Seahawks do something rare and trade into the first round, they won’t pick on Day 1 of the NFL Draft until 2023 at the earliest.
Listen to the entire second hour of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on at this link or in the player below.