Saturday, September 24

Jamal Adams trade: Jets look winners over Seahawks after season-ending injury

From “Gang Green” to the Emerald City, we may finally have some closure on the Jamal Adams trade.

The Seahawks safety’s season came to a premature end Sunday, with reports indicating that he will undergo shoulder surgery that will sideline him for the remainder of the 2021 season. (While no one is looking for injuries, sound you hear is the Jets fans taking a victory lap).

Adams’ break with the Jets was pretty unpleasant; The defensive running back called out the franchise and the head coach in a now infamous New York Daily News article in 2020, culminating in a trade a few days later when he was sent to the Seahawks for a pair of first-round picks. a third assailant and safety Bradley McDougald.

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While the exchange made sense on paper, both parties raised a few eyebrows. Why would the Jets, completely devoid of talent, trade one of their only playmakers on the roster? On the other hand, why would the Seahawks trade two first-round picks for one safety?

With Adams’ injury ending his season, that may bring closure to the deal and ultimately give us a definitive answer on who won it.

Who won the Jamal Adams trade?

The case of the Jets

Could New York use a player of Adams’s caliber this season? Yes, especially with his defense being one of the worst ranked across the board in 2021. But there was also the question of the contract, which was a predominant factor in the divorce.

The Jets and general manager Joe Douglas were unwilling to comply with Adams’ flashy contract demands, which he eventually got from Seattle. In truth, New York paying so much money (four years, $ 72 million, $ 38 million guaranteed) to a safety that did not force turnovers as they headed for a total rebuild would not have been a smart organizational move. That contract, by the way, is the highest paid safety in NFL history.

In turn, the Jets sent Adams and used the extra first-round pick in 2021 (and packed a third-round pair) to move up and select offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker in this year’s draft. While he’s hit the rookie wall in recent weeks, Vera-Tucker has still ranked as one of the best rookie guards in the NFL and has allowed just one sack in 2021. That sack came in Week 1 against the Panthers. , according to PFF.

Vera-Tucker has plenty of room to grow as a player, but it’s hard to label him one way or another at the moment. There’s also the added bonus that the Jets need to protect QB Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick, giving Gang Green another young lineman to build with (2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton is still there. suffering a knee injury).

There’s also a question of who Adams is as a player now: Before the injury in 2021, Adams’s numbers as a passing back and as covering security weren’t very good. He had seven total pressures in 51 fast passes in 2021 (106 fast passes in 2020 for 34 presses and a rating of 86.1 fast passes), and a coverage degree of 47.4 in 468 coverage snapshots, the worst mark of his career. That number dropped from the worst of his career in 2021.

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Now, with another possible top 10 pick, the Jets have their fair share of options: They could sit back and let other GMs call for promotion to that pick in 2022, potentially picking the top 10 twice to shore up weak areas. of the team or decide to change that selection for a player, whoever it is, that would help give them a real impact player in the immediate future.

While it’s fair to criticize a team for trading a star player, it’s hard to blame the Jets for getting such incredible value (and avoiding such a big deal) for a player who hasn’t yet worked for the other side.

The case of the Seahawks

There’s also the question of where both teams are when it comes to competing: While the Seahawks were in a better position to make the playoffs in 2021, injuries and inconsistency played at a 4-8 record below par. The rebuilding Jets are at 3-9 in the 2021 season. The Seahawks made the playoffs in 2020, as Adams wanted, but the Rams rebounded them in the NFC divisional round.

It is never a bad thing to switch future first round players because you feel like your championship window is open now. Just look at the Seahawks’ rival in the NFC West, the Rams, who won’t pick in the first round until 2024, a perennial contender. However, there is the question of the type of player you will acquire for those selections.

To that end, Seahawks general manager John Schneider felt they were in a win mode now and Pete Carroll’s famous “Boom Legion” defenses relied heavily on quality secondary game, especially from the deep ones. The hope was that Adams would continue to evolve into a better security cover. Unfortunately, Adams has yet to become the turnover maker Earl Thomas was during the height of his career in Seattle.

Instead, Adams was heavily used in pure pass rush situations for Seattle in 2020, resulting in 34 pressures (11 sacks, seven hits, 16 rush, per PFF), improving his numbers when he was Jet the year before. Having a weapon as versatile as that on defense can certainly help to free things up and allow the D to be more creative.

The question then is, what is Adams worth if the Seahawks develop a traditional passing career?

The Seahawks have four more years to figure it out given Adams’ contract extension, but it’s always hard to blame a team for feeling like they were getting a game-changing DB in a win-now situation.

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The verdict

Ultimately, it appears the Jets are on the winning side of the deal here.

The Seahawks were forced into a dead end once they traded the two first-round players for Adams in July 2020 in regards to contract negotiations. Paying such a high price to acquire it on the equity project and subsequently losing leverage for any potential deals was difficult, but a by-product.

Now Adams is getting paid a lot of money to land the quarterback, something he hadn’t done well this season.

The other problem: Adams has yet to earn a reputation as a ball-hunting safety, which is why trading for him from the Seahawks’ perspective didn’t make much sense at the time. Potentially, there was hope that Adams would become a more complete baseline player, but that did not happen in 2020, nor in 2021, despite very good coverage ratings in 2018 and 2019 for the Jets (89.6 and 87 , 5 respectively, by PFF).

Now, with some murkiness about Seattle’s future after the 2021 season, the only way they can get those picks back is to trade Russell Wilson this offseason, setting the ‘Hawks up for something Adams hoped to avoid during his time at New. York: A reconstruction.

Funny how things work.

The Jamal Adams Trade, Revised

Adams’s saga with the Jets began somewhere during the 2019 season: Adams, in his third year with the Jets, was reportedly discussed in trade talks ahead of the 2019 trade deadline. He also allegedly publicly lobbied to be traded to the Cowboys, his hometown team. At the time, the Jets and general manager Joe Douglas weren’t buying from Adams, but listening to calls from Adams’ services.

Adams took it the wrong way.

“When I found out they were buying me, when I found out I was about to be traded, that was one of the teams I told [ESPN analyst Ryan Clark] I would love to go to the Dallas Cowboys. ” Adams said in 2019.

After the 2019 season and entering his fourth year in the league, Adams was eligible for a contract extension and, given his previous production with the team, he felt like he was in for a big payday. Reports indicated that Adams wanted to be paid approximately $ 20 million per year; That mark would make him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL in terms of face value, and the highest-paid safety in the league by far.

The Jets, going into a complete rebuild on their own, apparently scoffed at the idea of ​​paying Adams so much. Adams expressed his displeasure on more than one occasion, with Douglas and the Jets choosing to keep his position and not pay him, rather than engage in trade talks surrounding him in the 2020 offseason once again.

Then the explosive report that essentially destroyed the relationship between the two parties: Talking to the New York Daily NewsAdams, disappointed in his contract situation and standing with the team, criticized head coach Adam Gase and GM Douglas in a very candid interview.

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“I don’t feel like I’m the right leader for this organization to reach the Promised Land,” Adams said. “As a leader, what really bothers me is that he doesn’t have a relationship with everyone in the building.”

He continued to penetrate the organization, this time setting goals in the MM.

“If they’d just said, ‘You know what, Jamal? We’re not looking to pay you this year, we want to keep adding players, I would have respected him more,” Adams said. Say, “You know what? I respect it. As a man, I understand it. I understand it’s a business.” But for them to tell me they’re going to pay me and then they don’t send a proposal after they said that’s what they were going to do, that’s where we went wrong. “

Whether Adams felt disrespected by the organization or the schedule for the Jets to sign safety didn’t align with previous promises, the story was a breaking point between the two sides. Just days later, the Seahawks were traded by deep Jets discontent.

However, NFL analysts posited that the price was quite high, especially for a safety who did not cause turnovers: The Seahawks sent a first-round pick from 2021, a third-round pick from 2021, a first-round pick from 2022 and safety Bradley. McDougald to the Jets for Adams and a fourth-round pick. Eyebrows shot up: Adams, while a very good pass-rusher as a defensive running back, faced criticism for his lack of solid coverage ability at the rear.

While PFF measured Adams’ degree of coverage well above average in both 2018 and 2019 (89.6 and 87.5, respectively), his arrival in Seattle was less gracious. In Pete Carroll’s safety-dependent defensive scheme, Adams earned a coverage rating of 52.5, the worst of his career. Adams dealt with injuries in 2020, but that number was still the worst mark of his four years in the league.

However, it wasn’t all bad: Adams had 9 1/2 sacks as DB, setting the NFL record for a defensive back.

Adams also had to wait a year to get the money he was looking for, and even after a low year overall, he cashed in: Adams was awarded a four-year, $ 70 million deal in 2021, with $ 38 million guaranteed. That deal puts him at $ 17.5 million per year, down from the $ 20 million he was considering, but still places him among the highest paid in the game.

Now, Adams looks to continue helping a Seattle defense that hasn’t been so good in 2021. If he can lift them up, that would be pretty presidential.

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