Jake and Stacy: Is it worrisome that the Seahawks haven’t extended safety Jamal Adams?
The Seahawks entered the 2021 offseason with a lot of work to do, and many thought the top priority was signing All-Pro safety Jamal Adams to a long-term contract extension.
Well, we’re just a few weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft, NFL free agency has come to a standstill and Adams has yet to sign a new deal.
Adams came to the Seahawks last offseason in a blockbuster deal in which Seattle shipped two first-round picks, a third-round pick and safety Bradley McDougald to the New York Jets for Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022. Part of why Adams was traded from the Jets was he was unhappy that the team didn’t want to discuss a long-term deal with him.
Now, he has just one year remaining on his rookie deal and is set to enter free agency after the 2021 season.
So should it be concerning that the Seahawks and Adams haven’t put pen to paper in terms of an extension? 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy tackled that question on Thursday.
“Is Jamal Adams a priority for the Seahawks this offseason? Without a doubt,” former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps said. “Was it going to get done early on in the process? No!”
Heaps pointed out that the Seahawks have typically signed their biggest stars to long-term deals after the draft and before training camp, such as quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner. He also said he thinks the Seahawks are clearly prioritizing free agency and the draft before trying to get Adams to sign a new deal.
“They like to be very focused on the present, which is, ‘We have a process we need to focus on (with) our own players who are going to hit free agency. Then we look at the free agency market. Then we go into the second wave of free agency. Then we go into the draft. Then we look at who is available after the draft. Then we take care of our big megastars that we need to re-sign,'” Heaps said.
So as far as Seattle’s typical timelines go for long-term deals, Heaps thinks things are going as planned. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have some concerns, though.
“What I’m concerned about is the pressure it then puts on this franchise to get this deal done at that time,” he said. “If negotiations fall apart, if they don’t come together and (the Seahawks) aren’t willing to meet Jamal Adams’ (demands) or they’re unable to meet in the middle, you’ve put your franchise in a very difficult position and it’s going to be really, really hard to recover from. You have this unique window now that if things broke apart, at least you know that you could potentially trade Jamal Adams (but) I do not advocate for that and I don’t want to see that happen.”
Adams may be listed as a safety, but he views himself more as a defensive weapon because he can do so many things, such as getting to the quarterback. Adams had 9.5 sacks in 12 games last year. That not only led all Seahawks defenders, but it set a new record for sacks in a single season by a defensive back. Heaps thinks Adams will demand $18 to $20 annually, which would be far and away the most money ever given to a safety in NFL history.
“You’re probably going to be in a position where you have to do it,” Heaps said.
And as noted, Adams left the Jets because he was unhappy and felt disrespected. He also made that very clear when he spoke to the media. Heaps doesn’t think that’s been the case with Adams and the Seahawks at all because there has been really no reports or noise coming from the team regarding an extension.
“It’s been very quiet, which is a good thing,” Heaps said. “That means that the organization is communicating very well with Jamal Adams. The communication, the relationship, it’s strong and healthy. You just don’t want to get to the other side because we’ve seen what Jamal Adams is willing to do.”
At the end of the day, Heaps is “very confident” that a deal will get done in July before the Seahawks start training camp.
Stacy Rost pointed out that the Seahawks could potentially let Adams play out his current deal and keep him for 2022 on the franchise tag, but she noted that franchise tags are fully guaranteed. Part of why extensions can be favorable to teams is they can get creative with cap hits in early years, like the Seahawks have done with receiver Tyler Lockett’s recent contract.
Heaps has said for a while now that the 2021 NFL Draft is a key moment for the Seahawks and Adams because if that comes and goes and Seattle doesn’t trade Adams for more picks, his leverage will grow over Seattle. Rost isn’t so sure.
“I don’t know how much more leverage Jamal Adams gains by you waiting the difference between early May and early July,” she said.
But there is a cutoff point where Rost would be worried.
“I do think once the season starts, you’re in trouble,” she said of the Seahawks keeping Adams.
Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.