Heaps’ 2 burning Seahawks training camp questions: Adams and Witherspoon

Jul 20, 2021, 12:24 PM
Seahawks CB Ahkello Witherspoon...
Jake Heaps thinks Ahkello Witherspoon can be the Seahawks' No. 1 cornerback. (Getty)

Seahawks rookies reported to the team facility on Tuesday and training camp will begin next Wednesday.

15 Most Important Seahawks Nos. 14 and 15: Brooks and Dunlap

Training camp is obviously an exciting time as key roster battles will be decided and it means the beginning of the regular season is right around the corner.

For former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps, he will be looking for answers to two key questions during this year’s Seahawks training camp. He shared his thoughts on Monday’s edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy.

His first question he needs answered, he said, is “really easy.”

“No. 1 is Jamal Adams and his contract, which then leads into his participation in practice,” Heaps said. “That to me is No. 1.”

In his first year with the Seahawks in 2020, Adams earned Second-Team All-Pro honors as well as a Pro Bowl nod. He also set an NFL record for most sacks in a single season by a defensive back with 9.5, and he did so in just 12 games.

Now, Adams is entering the final year of his rookie deal and he is looking for a long-term contract extension from the Seahawks, who gave up two first-round picks, a third-round pick and safety Bradley McDougald last offseason for Adams and a fourth-round draft selection.

Heaps “fully expects” the two sides to come to an agreement on a new deal at some point, but he is worried about how long that process may take and the impact that could have on the team.

“How long does it take through training camp? Does it go all the way into September?” Heaps asked. “And how does that impact Jamal Adams’ participation in training camp? I have to imagine no deal, no practice for Jamal Adams. And that is something that this team cannot afford. They have to have Jamal Adams practicing with this team. They are not established as a defense yet to be able to afford not having Jamal Adams practice.”

Heaps’ second key question also involves Seattle’s secondary, but instead of the safety position, he’s looking at the cornerback room, specifically a newcomer to the Seahawks this season.

“And No. 2: Can Akhello Witherspoon establish himself as cornerback No. 1?” Heaps said.

Witherspoon, a 2017 third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks in free agency this offseason and is one of many cornerbacks competing for the two starting spots.

And something important to note is that Heaps questioned if Witherspoon could be Seattle’s No. 1 cornerback, and not the No. 2 corner opposite presumed starter D.J. Reed, who played very well for the Seahawks down the stretch last season.

“Ahkello Witherspoon’s upside and ceiling screams cornerback No. 1 as your best cornerback on this roster,” HEaps said. “Can he overcome his injuries? Can he establish himself as that guy? If he can, that will be a huge win for this team and will make that group significantly improved from where we’re viewing it on paper right now.”

Listen to the second hour of Monday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

Clayton: How lack of attendance in 2020 impacted Seahawks, NFL

Jake and Stacy

Seahawks Gerald Everett...
Jake Heaps

Heaps: How Seahawks can — and why they need to — get TEs more involved

In his latest Chalk Talk video breakdown, Jake Heaps looks at the encouraging use of tight ends by the Seahawks against the Steelers.
3 days ago
Seahawks RB Alex Collins...
Brandon Gustafson

Heaps: Seahawks ‘don’t really have a choice’ but to be a run-first team

Whether the Seahawks want to be a run-first offense or not, Jake Heaps explains why they don't really have any choice but to try right now.
4 days ago
Seahawks Tre Brown...
Brandon Gustafson

Heaps: Have the Seahawks found the answer at CB in rookie Tre Brown?

How encouraging was the play of rookie cornerback Tre Brown for the Seahawks in his first ever NFL game? Jake Heaps breaks it down.
5 days ago
Seahawks Alex Collins...
Stacy Rost

Rost: The good, the bad and the ugly for 2-4 Seahawks

Stacy Rost puts the Seahawks' loss and 2-4 record into perspective, looking at Tre Brown's strong debut, the offense's slow start and more.
6 days ago
Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett...
Brandon Gustafson

Tyler Lockett on playing with Seahawks under Geno Smith, where offense must grow

Star Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett joined The Huddle on 710 ESPN Seattle to break down what QB Geno Smith brings to the table.
8 days ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Brent Stecker

Heaps: Mitch Haniger’s Mariners article is worth getting fired up about

Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle's Jake and Stacy shares why Mitch Haniger's message from his column in The Players' Tribune makes him excited about the Mariners.
10 days ago
Heaps’ 2 burning Seahawks training camp questions: Adams and Witherspoon