BROCK AND SALK

2 Takes: Should Seahawks bring back Jamal Adams?

May 14, 2024, 8:15 AM | Updated: 9:43 am

Seattle Seahawks Jamal Adams warmup Arizona 2023...

Jamal Adams of the Seattle Seahawks warms up before a 2023 game against Arizona. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks cut ties with polarizing safety Jamal Adams in March, but they reportedly have left the door open for a return.

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According to an article from ESPN.com Seahawks reporter Brady Henderson on Saturday, Seattle is open to potentially reuniting with the three-time Pro Bowler. Henderson reported that if the Seahawks were to bring back Adams, it would be to play weakside linebacker in a part-time role with a salary near the league minimum.

Seattle acquired Adams in the summer of 2020 by dealing two first-round picks to the Jets in a blockbuster trade. Adams had a stellar first season in the Pacific Northwest, setting an NFL record for defensive backs in a single season with 9.5 sacks while using his versatility to play all over the field. During 2021 training camp, he signed a four-year, $70 million extension with the Seahawks that made him the league’s highest-paid safety.

However, things turned south after that. Adams struggled to remain healthy the past three seasons, playing in just 22 of 51 games between 2021 and 2023. His pass-rushing production also fell off, as he didn’t record a single sack in those 22 games. He also struggled in coverage throughout his Seattle tenure, earning a Pro Football Focus coverage grade that ranked in the bottom 25% of qualified safeties in 2020, 2021 and 2023.

There were other issues, too. In Week 4 of last season, Adams lashed out on the sideline at an unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who had examined him for a concussion. And last December, he made a disparaging post about an NFL reporter’s wife on social media. The Seahawks ultimately released the 28-year-old Adams shortly before free agency in March, which saved them $6.1 million against the 2024 salary cap, according to Over The Cap.

However, Seattle could use some more depth at linebacker after parting ways with veteran Bobby Wagner and former first-round pick Jordyn Brooks this offseason. The Seahawks signed former Miami linebacker Jerome Baker and former Buffalo linebacker Tyrel Dodson in free agency, but both are on one-year deals. Seattle also took UTEP linebacker Tyrice Knight in the fourth round of the NFL Draft, but many believe he might be somewhat of a developmental project.

Some think Adams’ skill set is better-suited for linebacker than his traditional spot at safety. Furthermore, some believe his versatility could be a good fit in new Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald’s defensive scheme, which covets players who can play at a variety of spots.

So, should the Seahawks bring back Adams? Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard and Mike Salk discussed the idea during Monday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. Huard wasn’t necessarily for the idea, but gave some arguments in support of it. Salk, meanwhile, was adamantly against it. Below is a summary of what they said.

Brock Huard – The case for bringing Adams back

Huard said some people within the Seahawks organization have long wanted to see Adams play more linebacker instead of safety. But even though he moved around the field quite a bit under former coach Pete Carroll, Adams still predominantly played safety.

“The front office, from the day they traded for him, many of those people up there – pro personnel and scouting and (general manager) John (Schneider) himself – wanted to see Jamal Adams a linebacker, not Jamal Adams a safety,” Huard said. “The thought was: Let’s get this guy around the line of scrimmage. ‘Hey, Pete, you love to play to guys’ unique strengths. Play this guy around the line of scrimmage. Do not put him in two-deep. Do not put Edward Scissorhands back there to try to catch the football. Put Edward Scisscorhands around the line of scrimmage to cut people’s legs off, because that’s what this guy’s good at.’ And instead, guess what he played? Safety, safety, safety.”

With a position change and a new coaching staff led by the defensive-minded Macdonald, Huard argued that perhaps there’s a chance of Adams resurrecting his career in Seattle.

“There’s just an intrigue of can we just see this guy with great coaching,” Huard said. “We believe we have great coaching. … And if there’s people up there that believe (in Adams) and wanted him as a linebacker – they viewed him as a linebacker, but Pete and the coaching staff just never did. And I think that is why there is still an ember in the fire of the conversation.”

Huard also said that Adams might play with a high level of hunger and desperation, given how far his career has fallen over the past few years.

“You know who (Hall of Fame coach) Bill Parcells enjoyed putting on his roster?” Huard said. “Guys that had nothing else available. Back against the wall. Market tells you you’re done. Dudes who used to be able to play that had no other options. You are a hungry dog when you’re trying to just survive and get one last chance. Bill Parcells liked those guys on their very, very last chance.”

Mike Salk – The case against bringing Adams back

Salk argued that Adams’ injury history, diminished production, lack of linebacker experience and potential to cause locker-room distractions make the idea of a reunion a complete non-starter.

“Don’t get a safety to play weakside linebacker,” Salk said. “Get a linebacker to play weakside linebacker. I just, I’m sorry, I don’t understand it. He’s not been healthy. He’s not big enough to play that position. He’s never played that position for a reason. He’s not good in coverage, which is what you would need him to do at linebacker. He’s not been the leader that he was supposed to be when they traded for him, and he’s generally been kind of a pain in the butt.”

Salk also said it’d send a bad message to bring back Adams instead of Wagner or safety Quandre Diggs, who were among the notable veteran players Seattle parted ways with this offseason.

“While I have zero problem with them cutting ties like Quandre Diggs or Bobby Wagner – I understand why they did what they did – the idea of bringing back Jamal Adams, with his attitude, after you had moved on from leaders like Diggs and Bobby? It just doesn’t work for me, and I don’t like the statement that you’d be making. None of those guys do I think are great players any more, but why bring back the guy who was also somewhat problematic?”

Salk said it’s time for the Seahawks to move on and cut their losses from the Adams trade.

“The Jamal Adams trade was a bad one,” Salk said. “The Jamal Adams (contract extension) was a further complicated, adding on top of it bad thing to do. It didn’t work. You’re finally out of it and over it. Just let it die. Don’t bring it up. Don’t ask about it. Don’t inquire. Don’t keep the door open. Just move on. … There’s no reason to do this. It is a risk without enough reward. And that’s before you even get into the health concerns and the fact that the guy’s barely been on the field for the last three years. I’m just flabbergasted that this is even a conversation.

“If you’re still harboring this image of what Jamal could be,” he added, “I’m asking you to move on. I’m asking you to please move on and find another solution to this problem. I’m not saying you don’t need more help at linebacker. I’m not saying there couldn’t be room to add more. But please look to find another way to do it that doesn’t involve Jamal Adams.”

Listen to the full conversation from Monday’s Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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2 Takes: Should Seahawks bring back Jamal Adams?