Jamal Adams finally got what he wanted because the Seahawks gave Joe Douglas what he wanted. Adams successfully whined his way to a new team, but now Douglas can avoid having to pay the safety a big-money, long-term contract right as the salary cap is going to take a huge nose-dive. And he got two first-round picks (one in 2021 and one in 2022), a third-round pick (in 2021) and a Bradley McDougald in return.
“This trade provides us with a unique opportunity to improve our team with multiple first-round picks in each of the next two years and the flexibility to continue to build this team for the future,” Douglas said in a statement released by the Jets. “Adding Bradley McDougald’s consistency and production to this year’s team was an important piece that gives us more experience on defense. While we had maintained our interest in Jamal Adams having a long and successful career with the Jets, we know it’s important to be prepared and willing to adjust to new offers and circumstances. As I have always said, my job is to listen to calls and this offer was one we could not ignore.”
There’s no doubt that Adams is an excellent football player, he’s one of the best safeties in the league and plays his position about as well as humanly possible. The flip side of that is his position simply isn’t very valuable when it comes to determining wins and losses. Just six months ago it looked like the 2021 salary cap would explode, with the league in great financial shape and just about to sign a new insanely lucrative television deal. At that time it made sense to want to lock-up your only true star player, regardless of their position. Then the pandemic hit and now it looks like the 2021 cap will be decreased by around $40 million. The league will rebound from this, that cap will come back stronger than ever but it sure wouldn’t make sense to pay a safety a big-money contract right as the $40 million decrease hits.
As great as Adams is, his presence simply doesn’t translate to wins. The Jets won five games in 2017, four games in 2018 and seven games last season. They’ll be able to fail to be a .500 team without him just as they would with him. Now they have three extra draft picks to build for the future with. McDougald isn’t anywhere near the play-maker that Adams is, but he is a good, consistent safety that can contribute now as Douglas looks to build this roster in his image.
Adams is far more valuable to a team with a roster built to compete than he was for the Jets, now Douglas just has to hit on those draft picks. Maybe spend those picks on some quality offensive players to help out Sam Darnold. If Douglas can hit on his draft picks this could set the Jets up quite nicely for the future, if he can’t then the future was doomed with or without Adams.
Some advice to any Seahawks fans that may read this: Don’t listen to anything Adams says, don’t follow him on Twitter, in fact block him so you don’t have to read his tweets, and you’ll absolutely love him. You’ll love watching him on the field, just don’t let his emotional tweets/interviews sour you on him like they did for Jets fans.