Shockwaves were sent across the NFL world on Saturday as the New York Jets finally gave safety Jamal Adams what he wanted when they traded him to the Seattle Seahawks in a blockbuster move.
The Seahawks sent safety Bradley McDougald, two first-round picks (2021 & 2022), and a third-round pick (2021) to the Jets for Adams and a fourth-round pick (2022).
Adams has been adamant for the last several months that he wanted out of New York as contract talks were going nowhere between the two sides. Adams has two years remaining on his rookie contract but wants to be the highest-paid safety in football. The frustration led to Adams officially requesting a trade a month ago.
The Jets weren’t going to just give Adams away and wanted to make a trade that they felt was fair compensation. Veteran football writer Tony Pauline reported weeks ago that the Jets would have dealt Adams to the Dallas Cowboys, a long-rumored destination for the safety for Cowboys offensive tackle La’El Collins but Dallas reportedly wasn’t open to making such a deal.
Seattle general manager John Schneider has a history of making blockbuster trades to upgrade the Seahawks roster.
In 2010, Seattle sent a fourth and fifth-round pick to Buffalo for Marshawn Lynch and Lynch ultimately became a legend in Seattle during his run there.
In 2013, Seattle acquired Percy Harvin from Minnesota for a first, third, and seventh-round picks, and Harvin played a role in helping them win a Super Bowl.
In 2015, Seattle sent center Max Unger and a first-round pick to New Orleans for tight end Jimmy Graham. Graham had a solid three-year run with the Seahawks but didn’t live up the hype of trade when it initially happened.
In 2017, Seattle sent a second-round pick and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse to the Jets for Sheldon Richardson who they were adding to an already elite defense. Richardson was solid with 44 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception and a forced fumble but left as a free agent following the season.
Also in 2017, Seattle sent a second-round pick, a third-round pick, and a fifth-round pick to Houston for offensive tackle Duane Brown. Brown has been their starting left tackle ever since making it to two Pro Bowls and a second-team All-Pro selection.
Of course there was also last year’s blockbuster with Houston for Jadeveon Clowney for two players and a third-round pick. Clowney is still a free agent and could wind up back with Seattle for this upcoming season although the money may not be there as it initially was which we’ll get to.
So it’s clear that Schneider, as well as head coach Pete Carroll, aren’t afraid to make trades and sacrifice some of their draft capital if they think the player can help their roster in either the short-term or the long-term. Sometimes the deal works for the team such as acquiring Lynch or Brown or it doesn’t work as planned like the Richardson or the Graham trades.
They also don’t covet first-round picks like other teams do. Since Schneider and Carroll took over the franchise in 2010, the team has drafted in the first-round eight times with the team usually trading the draft pick for an established NFL player or trading back to acquire more picks in the mid-rounds. Their first-round pick history isn’t the greatest to brag about either with Earl Thomas, Bruce Irvin, and Russell Okung being their most productive first-round selections.
Acquiring Adams helps them not only in the short-term but also the long-term. He’s an immediate upgrade over McDougald who was a solid safety but when you get the chance to acquire an All-Pro such as Adams, you make that kind of move to help your football team. Seattle’s pass defense ranked 27th in yards allowed but fifth in touchdowns allowed and fifth and interceptions forced.
Seattle is also getting Adams now when he’s only scheduled to make $3.5 million in 2020 and the $9.8 fifth-year option next year so it’s very affordable for them when McDougald was slotted to make $5.4 million this upcoming season. New York will take a $3.58 million dead cap hit by trading Adams as they’ll still pay his prorated bonus. ESPN reported that Seattle didn’t have a demand from Adams and his representation to extend the contract immediately.
As for the Jets, they now can focus on continuing to build the team around quarterback Sam Darnold as he enters his third-season as the starting quarterback. The team is still in a good position in terms of the salary cap with currently $27.6 million in cap space and a projected $45 million in cap space for next offseason.
The Jets also have ten draft picks for the 2021 draft as of now so that gives them extra draft capital to move up and down to continue to find the right pieces general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Adam Gase need to build around Darnold as well as rebuilding the defense back to what it was during the Rex Ryan era when they were contenders in the AFC.