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Why the Seahawks Need to Pay Jamal Adams

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To re-sign Jamal Adams or not to re-sign Jamal Adams? That’s that major question facing the Seahawks front office. On the surface, it might seem like a simple question.

Jamal Adams is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, so Seattle should re-sign him. They also gave up their entire future for him so it seems logical that they should be invested in him. Currently, he will play the 2021-2022 NFL season under a $9.86 million fifth-year option. However, Jamal Adams is seeking to become the highest-paid safety by a significant margin.

Right now the highest-paid safety is Justin Simmons after he signed a four-year $61 million contract with the Denver Broncos ($15.25 million per year). So Seattle has to decide if they are willing to pay Jamal Adams top dollar.

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 27: Jamal Adams #33 of the Seattle Seahawks breaks up a pass intended for Tyler Higbee #89 of the Los Angeles Rams during the second quarter at Lumen Field on December 27, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

What Exactly Does Adams Want?

First Seattle has to figure out the demands of Jamal Adams. Although Adams hasn’t made direct demands to Seattle, it is widely known that he wants to be paid top-dollar.

To be paid top-dollar (for his position) Seattle would need to pay him at least $16 million a year. However, he wants to be paid even MORE than that because he believes that he is a “defensive weapon” rather than a Safety. This is a point that most won’t disagree with as he can play as a DB, LB, or as a DE.

He broke the record for the most sack as DB in one season with 9.5 sacks during the 2020-2021 season. So since he plays more like DE, he wants to be paid more like a premier DE. Being paid like a premier DE means that he is seeking to be paid about $20 million a year compared to $16 million a year. This would put him on par with the highest-paid DB’s contract of Jalen Ramsey (five-year $105 million).

Then Seattle has the whole headache of figuring out what he is looking for in a signing bonus and guarantees. So based on all of this I think Adams would be looking at a three or four-year contract that pays him around $55-$72 million. He will be also looking for significant guaranteed money from Seattle to give him any indication that the team is committed to him.

What do the Seahawks Want?

Then you come to what the Seahawks want to do with this situation. It is not publicly known if Seattle intends to resign Adams. Ideally, the Seahawks would try and figure out this situation during the 2022 offseason, and see what Adams is really about during the upcoming season.

However, Adams is holding out until he gets a new long-term contract. So now Seattle needs to figure out a contract that works out for both sides. Typically in a long-term contract, the first two years are mostly/fully guaranteed.

When it comes to lucrative contracts for Seattle, they typically structure in those guarantees in the signing bonus and base salaries. For example, with Russell Wilson, they gave him the biggest signing bonus (at that time) of $65 million. So I would expect Seattle to offer Adams a major signing bonus that takes up a good part of his contract. However, I don’t think they would be willing to offer Adams $20 million a year.

That would make him the second-highest-paid player on the team only behind Wilson. I would expect Seattle to offer him something more like $15-$17 million a year. This would still make him one of the highest-paid safeties in the league

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – NOVEMBER 30: Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes under pressure from Jamal Adams #33 of the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field on November 30, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Should Seattle Retain Jamal Adams?

Now, the elephant in the room, should the Seattle Seahawks re-sign Jamal Adams? They must figure out if Adams is worth his steep price tag. He is a unique player that can play anywhere on the field. Although he is not exceptional in pass coverage, which might present himself as a liability in the secondary.

So instead of using their money to pay Adams, Seattle could go and get themselves a solid safety for much cheaper. Adams also has a loud personality that might present itself as a problem in the future. But in the end, the Seahawks need Adams.

He shows promise all over the place and by signing him to an extension they can really develop him as a player. He is a “swiss army knife” for the defense that they won’t be able to find anywhere else. He can also become the leader of this defense after Bobby Wagner departs.

Jamal Adams Contract Prediction

A five-year $85 million contract. $15 million signing bonus, $32 million guaranteed with a 5th-year option (team).

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Main Image Credit

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – JANUARY 09: Strong safety Jamal Adams #33 of the Seattle Seahawks hold a fist during pre-game activities prior to the NFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field on January 09, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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