Seahawks Q&A: Why hasn’t safety Jamal Adams been extended yet?

Jun 8, 2021, 8:28 AM
Seahawks S Jamal Adams...
Seahawks safety Jamal Adams is entering the final year of his contract. (Getty)

Seahawks fans had so many great questions for last week’s Q&A column that we split it into two features.

Clayton: Why Seahawks couldn’t offer what Titans did to get Julio Jones

Last week’s column explored questions surrounding Seattle’s cornerback room and the future of K.J. Wright. Fans in this week’s column are wondering how soon this year’s new offense will be tested, whether the Julio-to-Seattle rumors were all hype, and when on Earth the Seahawks are going to extend Jamal Adams.

@seahawks778: Why hasn’t Jamal Adams been extended?

Were it not for Russell Wilson’s comments to Dan Patrick earlier this year, which sparked a flurry of trade rumors in the ensuing weeks, Jamal Adams may have been more the focus of Seahawks offseason talk. After all, Seattle traded more than it ever had for a player under general manager John Schneider – headlined by a pair of first round picks – when it acquired the All-Pro safety. No general manager makes that trade without the intention of keeping that player long-term, so the Seahawks couldn’t be blamed for making an extension for Adams the top priority of their offseason. And yet here we are in June without a deal, and only the 2021 season remaining on Adams current contract.

I wouldn’t expect that to remain the case entering the regular season. It’s not just because of comments made by both Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, but also because of this team’s history with two key player extensions.

When Schneider and Carroll spoke with reporters ahead of this year’s NFL Draft, Schneider was asked where things stood with Adams’ contract negotiations and whether Schneider still viewed Adams as a long-term piece of Seattle’s defense.

“Absolutely,” Schneider said. “We’re going to be celebrating Jamal (on night one of the Draft). We want him to be a long time for sure. He’s a great player. We’re glad we made the trade to get him and he’s going to be a very important part of our future.”

While the Seahawks have extended some of their stars shortly before or following the draft, they’ve also waited until the start of training camp for two of the biggest names.

Back in 2015, Russell Wilson signed his first extension on Jul 31 and Wagner followed it up with his two days later, on Aug 2. Wagner’s second extension in 2019 was announced July 26. Wilson’s camp reportedly gave the Seahawks a deadline of April 15 for a new contract, which both sides met, but that too would presumably have been handled later in the offseason, similarly to his first extension. (But would it still have resulted in this now famous video and its hilarious spoof? We’ll never know.)

Given the expected size of Adams’ contract, the Seahawks may be following the same pattern. There are a few benefits to this approach, assuming it doesn’t ruffle feathers with the player, including finalizing the extension with a better idea of what the roster looks like. If the team enters the regular season without a new deal for Adams, it’s fair to be concerned. Given the recent comments from the organization and their history with extensions for both Wilson and Wagner, June is a bit too early to panic.

@Noa_253: What will the Seahawks have to give up to get Julio Jones? Is that trade all hype?

A bit of editing on this one since by now that deal has been done. But it also means we know exactly what it cost to acquire Jones — and in terms of draft picks, it wasn’t the first rounder the Falcons had reportedly been offered (insert Kathryn Hahn-style wink). Instead, the Titans sent a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick.

While it didn’t end up going Seattle’s way, I don’t think this trade was all hype. Schneider has always said the Seahawks are involved in every deal. I don’t think they’re involved in, quite literally, every possible deal. But I do think any team that’s been as successful as Seattle has been for the last decade must find ways to improve and remain competitive in a league built for parity. And exploring every possible avenue for improvement means listening to trade offers and occasionally making your own.

Outside of Dianna Russini’s initial report on May 30, there was also this interesting nugget from Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer in his latest MMQB column: “The Falcons did wind up talking to all four NFC West teams about a Jones trade, but never got a real offer from any of them.”

The Rams and Seattle are in similar cap situations, and only San Francisco had the cap space available to absorb all of Jones’ fully guaranteed $15.3 million salary. I have to think the salary would be the sticking point for any of these NFC West teams, including Seattle. According to OverTheCap, the Seahawks are sitting around $7 million in cap space. Restructuring larger deals is an option to create room (it’s what Atlanta did this offseason with some of its biggest stars, save Jones and Grady Jarrett) but Seattle hasn’t done that yet this season with either Wagner or Wilson, that we know of. There’s also a potential extension for receiver DK Metcalf to consider next offseason.

@spartangrass: Toughest stretch on the schedule?

There were myriad reasons for Seattle’s second-half collapse on offense and upswing on defense last season, but one factor was certainly the grouping of opponents on the schedule. The Seahawks faced a string of struggling offenses and top-10 defenses in the second half of the year. This season doesn’t feel halved in the challenges it presents on either side of the ball — at least not right now (we’ll see how Seattle’s opponents develop as the year rolls on). So, the stretches of difficulty feel like two- and three-week groupings at a time.

One such stretch? A tough slate of defenses in Weeks 4-6. The Seahawks head to San Francisco, where they’ll face a much healthier 49ers defense. Even without its biggest stars, this group still limited opposing offenses to 5.0 yards per play in 2020 (4th fewest). In Week 5, Seattle returns home on a short week for a Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams, which limited opponents to just 281.9 yards per game and a league-low 18.5 points per game (they also have a guy named Aaron Donald). In Week 6, Seattle heads to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers defense that pressure quarterbacks on a league-high 35.1% of dropbacks and led the NFL with 56 sacks.

If you’re desperate for a silver lining with any of these games, the Rams will be playing under a new defensive coordinator following Brandon Staley’s hire by the Chargers, the 49ers could be starting a rookie quarterback, and the Steelers could be fielding an older, slower Ben Roethlisberger. But even then, it’ll be the biggest and earliest test for Shane Waldron’s new offense.

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Seahawks Q&A: Why hasn’t safety Jamal Adams been extended yet?