JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Recent 49ers extension may impact Seahawks and Jamal Adams

Jul 22, 2021, 1:10 PM
Seahawks SS Jamal Adams...
The Seahawks are still looking to agree on a new deal with safety Jamal Adams. (Getty)
(Getty)

The 49ers stunned most people around the league when they signed linebacker Fred Warner to what was believed to be a five-year contract for $95.225 million. That would have made him the highest paid linebacker in league history. It appeared he blew past the $18 million a year deal Bobby Wagner signed with the Seahawks in 2019.

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But as I say so often, it’s always advisable to wait a couple of days to see where the numbers really stand.

As it turned out, it can be $19 million a year but really isn’t. There are two voidable years at the end of Warner’s contract. Technically, it’s a three-year deal at $18.3 million a year. The 49ers do have the right to buy the last two years, which would make it a five-year deal at $95.225 million, but that’s not guaranteed.

Still, it’s a great deal for Warner and a smart one for the 49ers. Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts should be the next linebacker to get something done but it’s probably just going to be for a little more than Warner.

In a year in which the NFL salary cap dropped eight percent to $182.5 million, big jumps in the yearly average aren’t easily obtained. Look at what happened at the safety position. Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals had been the highest-paid safety at $14.75 million a year. Justin Simmons of the Denver Broncos was on the franchise tag but he ended up getting $15.25 million a year.

You wonder how this trend will affect the Jamal Adams negotiations for the Seahawks. Adams will end up as the highest-paid safety in the league. The Seahawks could go to $16 million a year and maybe a little bit more, but if Adams wants $17-18 million, that might be tough unless they do something similar to what the 49ers did with Warner.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott wanted to break the bank with his deal with the Cowboys but settled for $40 million a year, just a little over the new money paid last year to Patrick Mahomes ($39.8 million a year in new money) and Deshaun Watson ($39 million a year).

Welcome to the negotiation game in the NFL.

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