The Seattle Seahawks didn’t just imagine All-Pro safety Jamal Adams securing the team’s second Super Bowl title. The franchise, understandably, likely envisioned a world where Adams grabbed interceptions and sacked the quarterback for years to come.
For now, much of that idea remains only a concept. More than anything, the Seahawks are instead coming dangerously closer to regretting acquiring Adams in the first place.
The Seahawks reportedly aren’t budging on agreeing to terms with Jamal Adams
In his first year with the Seahawks, Adams more than lived up to expectations. The LSU product totaled a career-high 9.5 sacks — the single-highest total by a defensive back in league history — and earned Pro Bowl honors for the third straight season.
The statistics only tell part of the story, however. When the Seahawks traded two first-round picks to the New York Jets for the dynamic safety, they did so knowing he could potentially hit free agency after the 2022 season. Seattle picked up the fifth-year option on Adams, the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
At this point, Seahawks fans may want to start preparing for the idea of Adams wearing another uniform next year. According to The Seattle Times, the Seahawks are “not budging” in their contract standoff with the fifth-year safety.
The Times reported the Seahawks offered Adams a four-year contract with $17.5 million in total annual compensation and $38 million guaranteed. That extension would make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL. However, Adams’ camp countered with $40 million in guarantees and a request that all bonus money would be moved into the deal’s first three years.
Although Adams is currently in Seahawks camp and attending meetings, he was not participating in practices as of publication.
The Seahawks have possibly botched this situation beyond repair
Good news exists for the Seahawks on two fronts. First, Adams is in the midst of his prime and remains among the league’s most impactful defensive backs.
Elsewhere, the Seahawks have the franchise tag at their disposal. Even if Adams doesn’t agree to terms on the new deal, he can play under the tag in 2022 and 2023. The Times reported the franchise tag for safeties in 2022 is projected to be $12.4 million. That total would increase to somewhere in the $15 million range in 2023.
However, the franchise tag and increased salary don’t mean Adams will play for the Seahawks next year. He’s already used his voice and Twitter account to leave one undesirable situation with the Jets. If he doesn’t get the contract he desires, no one should be surprised to see him pull a similar stunt in the coming months.
All of this raises the question about why the Seahawks didn’t negotiate an extension with Adams when the team acquired him a year ago. All of the 2017 NFL Draft’s first-round picks were eligible to sign new contracts last summer. The Seahawks had no reason to agree to table contract talks with a player who’d already grown into an All-Pro safety.
This is already shaping out to be another disastrous acquisition by the Seahawks, who could have given up considerable assets for an elite young player who may not stick around. Adams has at least already been more valuable than Percy Harvin, for whom the Seahawks traded a first-round pick and two other selections in 2013 before getting eight total games out of him and trading him to, of all teams, the Jets.
Adams can make things look far better if the Seahawks win the Super Bowl this season
If there’s one thing that makes the Harvin trade redeemable in hindsight, it’s that the Seahawks managed to win Super Bowl 48 despite him missing nearly all of the season. The electric receiver’s 87-yard kickoff return in the Big Game certainly helped, too.
A similar opportunity could present itself for Adams and his legacy in Seattle. Although there has been no indication that the fifth-year safety will sit out regular-season games without a new contract, it’d be hard to fault the Seahawks if that fear emerged in the coming weeks. The Seahawks desperately need Adams in the secondary if they’re to compete for a second straight NFC West division title.
But let’s say Adams returns without a new deal, he plays at an elite level, and the Seahawks win the Super Bowl. Whatever happens after, whether it’s a new deal, a trade, or him leaving for the San Francisco 49ers in free agency, comes with the caveat that, yes, the Seahawks would have won a Super Bowl in his time there.
We understand that cash is king, especially in the modern NFL. But a well-deserved Super Bowl ring often speaks the loudest.