Oh how wonderful it would be for each and every sporting franchise to pull off a deal that benefits them in such a way, whatever steep price that was paid is totally and accurately defended.
The Seattle Seahawks are enjoying such a luxury, and persecute me all you like but their ‘all-in’ move to bring in star safety Jamal Adams is as close to faultless as you can get with a trade of such magnitude.
Maybe anti-Seattle fans do not agree with that along with patriotic New York Jets supporters, who still had hope the franchise could hold onto Adams. Nevertheless, the ‘Hawks got the man everyone else was hoping for, in exchange for a healthy package – safety Bradley McDougald, first-round picks in 2021 and 2022 and a third-round pick in 2021 to be exact have all been shipped to New York.
A big price worthy of a big talent.
Imagine a scenario like this – you go into a store to buy a really really really nice bottle of wine, but it is $60 a bottle, and there is an upcoming sale that is set to drop that down to around $45, do you spend the $60? No… obviously not, you wait.
But, that hefty price, the 60 smackers you were about to drop, you bite the bullet and pay it if another buyer is breathing down your neck, ready to pounce on your financial prudence.
That is the stance Seattle is taking. Knowing full well if they cannot immediately cater to the Jets’ wishes with a viable trade package, another team like the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers – three of the seven teams Adams listed as his preferred destinations – can come along and match it without hesitation.
Adams essentially put himself on the trade block, handing in a request after a contract dispute with the New York franchise came to no resolution, and suggested an untenable relationship going forward. It was a seven month saga that was sparked by a simple yet absurdly common dilemma in modern-day sport – Adams wants many money, the Jets do not want to give him said money.
For a while the rumblings suggested the Cowboys were the front-runner, but no deal was ever struck.
While there are two hurdles for the Seahawks to jump through, they are simple clearances. The first is the upcoming contract extension.
Before he was traded, Adams reportedly told the Jets he wanted to be the highest paid player on his team, and one of the highest paid defensive players in the league. That would put his annual salary between $17 million and $23.5 million. It is hard to imagine him getting that kind of cash when no safeties ever do.
But, he has certainly proved his value since being drafted back in 2016. The incredibly versatile All-Pro can cover the field with exceptional speed and awareness, he can play alongside the front seven and get to the quarterback or tail back like a capable strong safety should, and he can defend the pass brilliantly.
In just three years in the league the 24-year-old has garnered two Pro Bowl selections and a first and second team All-Pro honour, which has made him the very best in his position while still being in his formative years.
Some say he is as good as Steelers legend Troy Polamalu, who himself was a generational talent in the back field.
Add to that Adams will happily extend his time with Seattle, becuase he wants to.
The second hurdle is how the trade depreciates the positivity attached to the future, just a bit. Should things turn sour soon and wins are hard to come by, the ‘Hawks do not have a first round pick until 2023 to fall back on. Even for Super Bowl contenders, first rounders act as valuable position strengtheners.
That only becomes a factor though should things go south and the Seahawks cannot take advantage of the roster they have, which looks unlikely given how much they have overachieved recently.
Speaking of the roster, which is already one of the best in the NFC, the win-now approach is a masterstroke as Adams reinforces a thin area and bolsters the franchise’s bid for a second Super Bowl title. The ‘Hawks ranked a lowly 27th against the pass a year ago, and 26th overall defensively. They have not had a Pro-Bowler to boast at safety since Earl Thomas III was on their payroll.
If defensive-end Jadeveon Clowney can re-sign and reunite with the likes of Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin and K.J. Wright in the front seven, then the Hawks will have a dangerous defensive group for 2020. But that happening remains up in the air.
The move pays off moreso when considering the figure in the pocket as well. The defence relies on the offence and vice versa, so bringing in someone who can be a game-changer and force more ‘three and outs’, will put a smile on the face of superstar quarterback Russell Wilson.
Wilson is 31 years-old with a good six to seven years left at a high level, at the very least. But given the team has not featured in the NFC title game since 2014, his abilities have been criminally underused for five years now, and that needs to change. This offseason the franchise already touched up the offensive group with more talent on the line, and an All-Pro tight end in Greg Olsen improving the targets.
Delving into the flailing Jets for a second… New York themselves get a care package that will certainly apply the necessary draft-related bandages to the damage caused by Adams’ revolt (if that is not too strong a word to use). Ignoring the fact the franchise has dealt its last seven first round draft picks – five of which were traded – they have four at their disposal over the next two years.
The Jets could venture down the pick trading avenue given the building and developing one has not worked the slightest since they made the AFC Championship game in 2011. They have failed to make the playoffs in the nine years since, and the one year they came close, 2015, was thanks in large part to a handful of signings and trades for experienced Pro-Bowlers rather than picks.
Hopefully Joe Douglas goes against the grain of previous Jets general managers and actually makes good decisions.
Seattle’s season kicks off against the Atlanta Falcons (A) on September 13, which precedes two titanic clashes against the New England Patriots and the Cowboys, both at home. Adams and his necessity to the defence will be tested early.
Sports writer based in Auckland, New Zealand. I have a strong passion for a range of codes, including the NBA, NFL, Soccer, Rugby and more.