Heaps: Why Jamal Adams’ contract talks with the Seahawks won’t be simple
The Seahawks will have a lot of tough decisions to make this upcoming offseason when all is said and done.
Not only are key players like running back Chris Carson and cornerback Shaquill Griffin currently on the last year of their contracts, but arguably Seattle’s best defender is only under contract through 2021 and will likely looking to get paid before next season begins. That player would be star safety Jamal Adams.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Seahawks will re-sign Adams at some point, as the safety has set the NFL record for sacks by a defensive back in a single season in just 11 games and has been a true difference maker for that unit. Plus, the Seahawks gave up three high draft picks, including two in the first round, in order to acquire Adams from the New York Jets. Part of the reason Adams wanted to leave the Jets was because they weren’t willing to discuss a new contract with him in 2020.
By all accounts, Adams loves playing in Seattle for the Seahawks, and in his fourth NFL season, he is playoff bound for the very first time. But according to former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy, Adams’ contract negotiations with the Seahawks could prove to be more difficult than you’d think.
Part of the reason Heaps thinks that is due to what the safety said during an interview with FOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd earlier this week.
“The fact that, very smartly, Jamal Adams didn’t classify himself as a safety,” Heaps said, when asked what stood out from that interview.
While Adams is listed as a safety, he also lines up close to the line of scrimmage to rush the quarterback and stop the run, and he also lines up as a linebacker. Because of this, during the interview with Cowherd, Adams said he’s not just a safety.
“Well, I just classify myself as a playmaker, you know what I mean?” Adams said. “I can play anything you need me to do, any position really, and I don’t really classify myself as a safety. I classify myself as a defensive weapon, you know what I mean? I’m going to just continue to play my ball, continue to do what they ask me to do, (continue) to learn, and that’s all I can do.”
Heaps said those comments are extremely critical when it comes to Adams and the Seahawks sitting down and trying to iron out a long-term contract extension.
“Jamal Adams, here’s the reason why he does that, here’s the reason why he classifies himself as a weapon and a playmaker: It’s because he doesn’t want to be held by the constraint of a safety contract,” Heaps said.
Currently, the highest-paid safety in the NFL is Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals, who makes $14.5 million annually. When it comes to players getting paid on defense, safeties typically fall short of the amount that linebackers, cornerbacks and edge rushers get. Heaps thinks Adams will likely demand money that’s never been seen before for someone listed as a safety.
“Jamal Adams is going to be looking for a big payday,” he said. “And if you think you’re going to get Jamal Adams to sign for $14 million or $15 million (a year), just above Budda Baker, you are kidding yourself.”
Heaps thinks Adams’ contract demands will be similar to that of fellow Seahawks defender Bobby Wagner. Wagner, a perennial All-Pro, currently makes $18 million annually on the three-year deal he signed ahead of 2019.
“(Adams) is going to be in that $20 million conversation and that’s why this negotiation is not going to be simple, because the Seahawks do not want to pay him that kind of money, they want to keep him as a safety,” Heaps said. “Jamal Adams, he ain’t buying it, he ain’t having it, especially when he has 9.5 sacks.”
Listen to the full second hour of Thursday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.