‘So grateful’: Jamal Adams discusses deal with Seahawks, goals and more
The biggest question of the Seahawks’ offseason has been answered as Seattle and star safety Jamal Adams agreed to a long-term extension Tuesday, making Adams the highest-paid safety in the NFL and keeping him in town through the 2025 season.
Adams, who turns 26 in October, came to the Seahawks from the New York Jets last offseason in a blockbuster deal involving two first-round picks. Now, he’s cashed in and is one of the league’s most valuable defenders.
Adams joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Wyman and Bob on Wednesday for an exclusive interview where he discussed the new contract, his goals for the upcoming season and much more. Here’s just a bit of what Adams told Dave Wyman and Bob Stelton.
“I knew it was going to get done”
Media reports are very common when new contracts are being negotiated between teams and top NFL players and often describe negotiations as being at a stalemate. That was something that was reported regarding Adams and the Seahawks, including a report saying Seattle would be willing to use the franchise tag on Adams next offseason if he didn’t sign the team’s final offer.
Adams, meanwhile, said the process was extremely professional and that he had no doubt the two sides would come to an agreement.
“I knew it was going to get done … You laugh at stuff when it comes out into the media like what could happen and they didn’t even know we were communicating,” he told Wyman and Bob. “We knew it was going to get done, it was just a matter of time. There was never any tension. It was first class top to bottom from the start of it to now, and I just appreciate them taking the opportunity on me and just giving me that. I can’t really ask for too much (more than that).”
Adams said Seahawks general manager John Schneider was “great” both during the negotiating process and since Adams came to Seattle last offseason.
“He’s first class,” Adams said. “He told me Day 1 when he traded for me he wanted me here for the long term. They made it happen, man, and I’m just glad to be here.”
Part of why Adams was traded to the Seahawks last year was because the Jets didn’t want to negotiate a new deal. That led to a messy and public breakup where many issues that Adams and other players had with the organization were on full display.
As you might expect, Adams made it clear how much he appreciates being a member of the Seahawks.
“From top to bottom, everything is exactly what you dream of when you’re young in terms of being a pro, what the NFL is supposed to look like,” he said. “Coming here, my eyes were just wide open. I was like the kid at the candy store. I’m just excited to be here. Every day, it’s the same and it never changes. (Head coach Pete Carroll) is never going to change, the coaching staff is never going to change.”
The team, he said, is “close-knit,” and that closeness will help them in the long run, especially when it comes to trust.
As far as the new contract goes, Adams is still waiting for that to soak in.
“It hasn’t fully hit me yet. I’m just so grateful,” he said. “So grateful to be here and I’m grateful to be able to step out on the field again and go out there and use my legs flying around, talking noise and just having fun. There’s nothing like this. I have the greatest job in the world. I’m very fortunate and I don’t take it for granted.
‘Shooting for the stars’
Adams, who entered the league in 2017, already has quite a résumé.
He was a first-team All-Pro in 2019, is a two-time second-team All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler. He also set an NFL record last year for most sacks by a defensive back in a single season with 9.5.
So what are the highest-paid safety’s goals for 2021?
“Last year before 9.5 sacks, 12.5 was my goal,” Adams said. “Obviously I didn’t reach it, so that’s the goal this year.”
What about interceptions?
“There’s so much left in the tank and I’m just getting started,” he later added. “I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything if you really want to ask me as far as achievements on the field, but there’s so many things I can get better at. And that’s what I love to do, just continue to get better at these things to elevate my game … My goals are very high this year, man. I’m shooting for the stars … I haven’t even got there yet, man, and that’s the scary part. I am just starting to feel like it’s about to take off as far as what I want to do.”
Adams also spent some time during the interview to discuss who’s stood out to him during training camp.
He pointed to the rookies, whose strong work in rookie camp has carried over to full practices, he said.
One rookie has really caught Adams’ eye, and it’s someone who Adams may find himself playing with in the secondary this year: fourth-round cornerback Tre Brown.
“Tre Brown, he’s out here getting reps (with the starters),” Adams said. “That’s big time and that’s what he signed up for. He’s doing a phenomenal job. He’s playing hard, he’s learning, he’s asking questions. When you can get a rookie that comes in and asks questions, that’s how you know he wants to be great. And he’s humble enough to ask those questions.”
You can hear the full interview with Adams in the player below or at this link.