Jake and Stacy: Why Jamal Adams’ leverage over Seahawks in contract talks is growing

Mar 15, 2021, 12:04 PM

Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Jamal Adams cost the Seahawks two first-round picks and could be a free agent next year. (Getty)


When it comes to the Seahawks and the 2021 offseason, all eyes are on Russell Wilson and trade rumors surrounding the star quarterback. But another one of Seattle’s best players is a key part of this offseason, as well.

A Russell Wilson trade would have ‘domino effect’ on Seahawks’ roster

Last offseason, the Seahawks made a big splash by acquiring 2019 First-Team All-Pro safety Jamal Adams from the New York Jets. Adams’ contract is now set to expire after the 2021 season, and there hasn’t yet been any indication on progress towards a long-term contract extension.

“He is going to hit free agency after this season (if he doesn’t sign an extension), and if he hits free agency and departs, you will have traded two first-round picks, a third and Bradley McDougald for two years of service from Jamal Adams,” Stacy Rost of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy said Friday. “Yikes.”

Adams earned second-team All-Pro honors in his first year with the Seahawks and showcased a wide array of skills on the field. As such, he will be looking for a major payday. Jake Heaps said that right now, all the leverage is drifting in Adams’ favor.

“Waiting until after (April’s) draft or getting a deal done just before training camp isn’t a surprise for the Seahawks … but with each day that passes by where the Seahawks are not rumored to be working on extending Jamal Adams, the player, in my opinion, gains more leverage,” Heaps said.

Currently, the Seahawks have only four picks in next month’s NFL Draft, including none in the first or third rounds because of last year’s trade for Adams. The upcoming draft is big in terms of Adams’ future in Seattle and what a new contract looks like, Heaps said.

“The Seahawks need to know … if they can realistically sign him to a long-term deal or need to know if they have to trade him before the draft so you can at least attempt to recoup some draft picks in 2021,” he said. “If the Seahawks wait to figure out his contract until after the draft, I believe Adams holds a massive amount of leverage over the team to get a deal done at the price point he desires.”

Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals is the highest-paid safety in the NFL at $14.75 million a year. Heaps said Adams will be looking to blow that deal out of the water because Adams doesn’t see himself as a safety given all he does on the field, such as rush the quarterback.

“Jamal Adams is going, ‘No, no, no. I had 9.5 sacks last year. I am a weapon. I am not a safety, I can be used all over the field, I’m one of the best defensive players in football and I want to be paid like it. And I want to be paid somewhere in the range of $18 to $20 million,'” Heaps said.

Heaps is surprised there have been no rumors regarding a potential Seahawks-Adams contract extension, and as such, his guess is the team will wait until later in the offseason to address a new deal. That approach, however, could cause issues down the line.

“You run the risk of kind of being at ransom demands of Jamal Adams in terms of what he wants, because what’s the alternative?” Heaps said. “You go into next year in the last year of his deal and then you have to franchise tag him and then possibly trade him? I just don’t see the win there for the Seahawks and I think it gets very expensive with each passing day, especially if they go past the draft before they are addressing the contract negotiations.”

Rost noted that Adams’ demand to be paid more like a defensive weapon than a safety makes sense as one of his greatest strengths is impacting the most important position in the game, which is quarterback.

“You went from having 28 sacks in 2019 to in 2020 having 46,” she said of the Seahawks’ defense. “Your sack leader was Jamal Adams. So yes, he’s a safety, but you’re right, Jake. He’s going to be looking to be paid like someone who contributes to your pass rush, and that is a more expensive position.”

Listen to the discussion here or in the player below.

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Jake and Stacy: Why Jamal Adams’ leverage over Seahawks in contract talks is growing