Seahawks need to turn Jamal Adams deal into a success in 2022

May 23, 2022, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:03 pm

Seahawks Jamal Adams...

Seahawks safety Jamal Adams walks off the field after a loss to Tennessee on Sept. 19, 2021. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

By the time the 2022 NFL season begins, two full years will have passed since the Seahawks made a blockbuster trade with the New York Jets to acquire All-Pro strong safety Jamal Adams, a move they hoped would put them over the top as a Super Bowl contender.

That didn’t happen.

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While Adams did have a record-breaking first year in Seattle, setting the all-time mark for sacks in a single season by a defensive back, he was slowed by multiple injuries and missed four games. The Seahawks, meanwhile, finished 12-4 in the regular season but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

The following offseason, the Hawks inked Adams to a long-term extension that made him the highest-paid safety in the game, but he was asked to play less around the line of scrimmage and more in pass coverage in 2021. The results were disappointing, as was the fact that his season ended early due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Seattle has since switched defensive coordinators, replacing Ken Norton Jr. with previous defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who said last week on Seattle Sports’ Mike Salk Show the goal with Adams is to “accentuate” what he’s best at.

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To Jake Heaps, a former NFL quarterback who now co-hosts Seattle Sports’ Jake and Stacy, the 2022 season is crucial for the Seahawks in regards to making the most out of what they’ve invested in Adams.

“It would be important for them to be able to determine the success of the Jamal Adams trade,” Heaps said of the 2022 Seahawks season. “Now, why do I say that? Because obviously, at this point, you can’t look at the original point of the trade. The original point of the trade was that Jamal Adams was going to add to the team in 2020 and 2021 and help this playoff team get to the Super Bowl and better the defense. That did not happen. You decided to pay him, you decided to make him the highest-paid safety, and now you’re in a new transition in terms of what you’re trying to accomplish with your team.”

Adams had 9.5 sacks in 2020 along with 11 tackles for loss, 14 QB hits, three passes defensed and a forced fumble. Last season, however, he had no sacks, four tackles for loss and two QB hits, though he did make a career-high two interceptions. Heaps explained why it’s important for Seattle to find a way for Adams to impact opposing offenses more like he did two years ago.

“This team now needs to be defensive-led. If they can’t get Jamal Adams going in a new system that is supposed to be geared towards being more aggressive and putting him in better situations, then I do believe that you can determine whether this is going to be a potential success or you can make a determination that this was a failure,” he said. “Because if the coaching staff can’t put him in the right positions or Jamal Adams can’t stay healthy or he can’t produce at this level in year 3 post-trade? I would say that definitively you could say that this was a failure of a trade. And I hope that we’re looking at this season in 2022 and not saying that about Jamal Adams, because I firmly believe that this guy has the ability to be one of the most dynamic defensive players in the NFL. He just has not been utilized the right way. I’m hoping that there is a big difference in the way that he is utilized here in 2022.”

You can listen to Heaps’ full thoughts in the Four-Down Territory segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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Seahawks need to turn Jamal Adams deal into a success in 2022