Seattle's mega trade for Jamal Adams

First impressions on the huge trade that took place over the weekend between the New York Jets and the Seattle Seahawks, it was good for both sides. On the face of it, the Seahawks got a game-changing safety, who could potentially push them over the top. The Jets, on the other hand, got a bucket load in return for a disgruntled player.

It was widely known that Jamal Adams wanted out of New York, but even so, how often does a top 3 player at his position get traded? Even more shocking though, how often is that player still on a rookie deal?

Seattle does have to pay Adams at some point, that’s one of the reasons he wanted out of New York. However he also wanted to be part of a successful franchise and to be competing for championships, so Seattle may get some flexibility that the Jets didn’t get in terms of time to get the deal done. Therefore, for the moment at least, Adams is playing for Seattle on his rookie contract. That’s a cap hit of $3.6million in 2020, a bargain for one of the top 3 or 4 safeties in the NFL who’s just entering his prime.

So what does Jamal Adams bring to the Seahawks in return for all the capital they gave up? When I look at their division and what they’re up against, I think it’s obvious. It’s about stopping Kyle Shanahan and that San Francisco running attack. To me and I think a lot of people would agree, Adams is the best safety in the box and against the run in the NFL today. He has the ability to line up in almost any position and is one of the league’s most versatile weapons on defence.

Partnering Adams with Bobby Wagner at the heart of that Seahawks defence is a scary prospect for NFC offenses. Adams reminds me so much of Kam Chancellor in his prime and Pete Carroll will know exactly what that kind of playmaker can do in his defensive scheme. This can only benefit a group that, by Seattle’s high standards, didn’t perform last year. I don’t expect to see the Seahawks defence ranked in the 20s again this season and this only strengthens my belief that they can reach the Super Bowl.

For the Jets on the other hand, whilst I said, to begin with, that it appears a good deal, the more I think about it I’m not so sure. It’s crazy to not keep hold of a player like Adams who you drafted and helped develop, especially when you have the cap space to pay him. I understand that once the relationship had broken down to the point of Adams taking to Twitter to call out the owner (however justified that might be) and the coach, he had to go.

However, the real problem I have with the trade from the Jets side is why they let it come to this in the first place. Yes, they got a huge return for a player who wanted out, but he wanted out and caused you a headache because you aren’t successful. This almost proves that he was right.

Look at the AFC East right now, its wide open. Miami are still in the rebuilding phase, despite the fact I think they could surprise a lot of teams this year. The Patriots just lost their greatest ever player and could be reeling from that. Even though they just signed Cam Newton, there’s very little pre-season to help him adjust, so they will probably be slow starters. Then you have the Bills who, whilst they are everyone’s favourite to win the division, have their flaws and we still don’t know for sure if Josh Allen is the real deal.

Basically what I’m saying is this could’ve been a time to strike for the Jets. They have a tremendous young quarterback on a rookie contract in Sam Darnold and have the ability to build around him. This year was the perfect opportunity to really make a run at the division title and make it to the playoffs. What they’ve actually managed to do is alienate their best player and leader on defence, fail to properly provide their quarterback with any real weapons and slip further back in a weakened division. I know the Jets were never winning the Super Bowl this year, but it feels to me like even they knew it and they don’t even think they’re close.

But wait a minute, maybe the Jets have a master plan. Let’s look at what they bargained for from Seattle. A starting level safety in Bradley McDougald, okay not bad, but he’s no Jamal Adams. More importantly though are the 2 first-round draft picks over the next 2 seasons, along with some later round picks. Sounds great, right? Is that really worth it though?

Since Russell Wilson entered the league and became the quarterback for the Seahawks in 2012, Seattle has never had a losing season. Their average 1st round draft position in that time (before any trades took place) is the 26th pick. Therefore let’s say Seattle make it to the playoffs the next 2 seasons, a pretty realistic assumption, and in 1 of those seasons go on to make it to the Super Bowl. Well, those two first-round picks become perhaps the 31st pick in 2021 and the 24th pick in 2022. That’s not much more than 2 high second-round picks. That means the Jets traded away a top 10 pick, who turned into a star, for the chance to gamble on some lower value picks in the future. How does that help your football team win this year or make you a successful franchise for the years to come?

This trade might look great for the New York Jets on the surface, but I think the Seattle Seahawks and Jamal Adams himself are the winner's hands down.

Article by Scott Glynn and first published on 31/07/20.

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