The Jamal Adams Saga
Recently, all of the headlines in the NFL have been surrounding New York Jets safety Jamal Adams. Adams officially requested a trade after not being offered a contract extension from New York. The news has divided many people on which party is in the wrong. On one hand there’s nothing wrong with a player of Adams caliber wanting to be paid. On the other hand, the Jets have publicly stated they want Adams to be a “Jet for life” and were just waiting to do a contract extension. New York isn’t in the wrong for wanting to wait. The global pandemic has many general managers preferring to wait and see how the salary cap will be affected. Not to mention that Adams is appearing as impatient in contract talks. Only one player from Adams draft class has signed a contract extension (Christian McCaffrey). That’s not because it was a weak draft class however. Some notable players from that class who are still without a contract extension include: Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Myles Garrett, and T.J. Watt. Still, Adams has decided that it’s time to request a trade.
Will the All-Pro safety get his wish?
Adams officially released a list of eight teams that he would like to be traded to. The list consisted of the Cowboys, Eagles, Ravens, Chiefs, 49ers, Seahawks, Texans, and Buccaneers. Multiple teams can be removed from that list right away. The Buccaneers currently have the second fewest amount of remaining cap space according to overthecap.com. They simply couldn’t afford to pay Adams cap hit of just over $7 million this year. The Texans do not have a first or second round draft pick this season, so New York would not be inclined to make a trade. The Chiefs have the fifth fewest amount of remaining cap space, and will have to extend their MVP quarterback soon. The Ravens have the ninth fewest amount of cap space, and much like the Chiefs will have to pay their MVP quarterback soon. The Eagles will be $50 million over the cap next season, so an extension with Adams would be virtually impossible.
Three of the eight teams remain as possible options, but would still be longshots. The 49ers currently have $15 million in remaining cap space. They however would be forced to make a decision on who to give an extension to, Adams or their All-Pro tight end George Kittle. San Francisco is also one of the top teams in the league, so a first round pick from them may not be as enticing for the Jets. The Cowboys have $11 million in remaining cap space, but are still trying to work out a long term deal with quarterback Dak Prescott. Dallas also has three players making over $20 million a year (the most in the NFL), so fitting in an Adams extension would prove to be difficult. Seattle perhaps has the best chance out of the eight teams Adams listed. They have $13 million in remaining cap space, and have $67 million available next season (seventh most in the NFL). Seattle is a playoff usual however, so much like the 49ers, their draft picks may not be as highly valued for the Jets.
If Adams really wants a trade, he’s more likely to be sent to a team not on his list. Two teams which are realistic possibilities are the Browns and the Lions. Cleveland gave up the 11th most total yards per game last season; and their current starting safeties are Karl Joseph and second round pick Grant Delpit. The Browns have a need at the position, and Adams would be an instant upgrade. Cleveland could also offer a higher draft pick, or perhaps receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The connection between Beckham and QB Baker Mayfield last season wasn’t great. Not to mention rumors of a possible Beckham trade arose this offseason.
Detroit could also look into trading for Adams. The Lions defense gave up the second most total yards per game, and most pass yards per game last season. Their current safeties are Duron Harmon and Tracy Walker. Detroit has a desperate need for defensive game-changers, which could lead to them pulling the trigger on an Adams deal. They could offer New York a high draft selection, or possibly receiver Kenny Golladay. Either way both Cleveland and Detroit could offer more than any of Adams preferred eight teams.
Will Adams actually get traded is the real question.
New York hasn’t commented on Adams recent trade request. They however remain intent on signing Adams to a long-term extension according to Rich Cimini. The Jets just aren’t in any rush, as they should be. New York currently holds all the leverage. Adams is under contract for at least two more seasons, with the possibility of a third if the Jets decide to franchise tag him. If Adams holds out, he won’t be paid. New York can just sit back and wait at the moment.
The most recent similar situation is Jalen Ramsey with the Jaguars. Ramsey made it clear he didn’t want to play for Jacksonville with two years remaining on his deal. The Jaguars said they weren’t going to trade Ramsey, but eventually ended up dealing him to the Los Angeles Rams. Jacksonville received two first round picks, along with a fourth round selection.
If an Adams trade is going to occur soon, it’s going to take a haul of draft picks just like it did for Ramsey. Eventually, New York may decide it’s not worth it anymore. They could decide that paying a safety such a high salary doesn’t result in wins, or that the noise surrounding Adams is just too much. Either way, a trade doesn’t seem imminent, and is more likely to occur down the road.