Seahawks Sudden Move With $70 Million Starter Raises Eyebrows

Getty Seahawks safety Jamal Adams at Levi’s Stadium on October 03, 2021.

Just four days before the Seattle Seahawks‘ season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, the team moved to restructure Jamal Adams‘ monster contract.

ESPN’s Field Yates posted on Wednesday, September 6, that Seattle cleared around $6.6 million in cap space by tinkering with the four-year, $70.5 million contract Adams signed with the Seahawks in 2021. The Athletic’s Mike Dugar called the sudden restructure “interesting” because the move actually increased the veteran’s cap number for the 2024 NFL season.

It was largely expected for the Seahawks to wait and see how the 27-year-old performed before deciding whether or not to cut their losses with Adams, who’s failed to live up to expectations since Seattle made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

Rumors also swirled that three-time Pro Bowler was on the chopping block after the Seahawks made the surprise move to sign former New York Giants safety Julian Love this offseason, but pushing more dead money to next season strongly insinuates he’s not going anywhere.

ESPN’s Brady Henderson explained, “As always, the ‘cap savings’ is really just those charges being pushed into the future. So that $6.614M will count on Seattle’s cap the final two years of the deal, split evenly between ‘24 and ‘25. If they move on next offseason, that’ll mean an additional $6.14M in dead money.”

While the LSU alum set a single-season sack record (9.5) for a defensive back in 2020 — the year he was acquired from the New York Jets in a blockbuster trade, Adams recorded zero sacks during the 2021 NFL season, appearing in just 12 games due to a shoulder injury. The 2022 NFL season was a wash after he suffered a quadriceps tear suffered in Week 1. Adams has already been ruled out for the 2023 season opener.

The franchise appears to be giving Adams a full nod of confidence that he’ll return to All-Pro form with the contract restructure, but Henderson believes the Seahawks were merely stuck between a rock and a hard place. “I don’t think they wanted to… particularly with Adams in a make-or-break year,” Henderson noted. “But I also don’t think they had much in the way of alternatives. This is always a last resort for them.”

While one fan commented, “This team simply refuses to acknowledge this trade has to be one of the worst ones ever made in their history,” former Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright believes the gamble will pay off. “If we get the absolute best of Jamal Adams, this is a legitimate Super Bowl-contending football team,” Wright said on his weekly radio show last week.

John Schneider Said Jamal Adams’ Injury was Only Part of the Reason They Signed Julian Love

GettySeahawks safety Jamal Adams being carted off of the field on September 12, 2022.

While Adams has missed 25 games since getting traded to Seattle, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said during a September 4 press conference that his most recent injury was only a small reason why they signed Love.

“I’d be lying to you if I told you it wasn’t a part of our thought process, how Jamal was doing at the time with his rehab, but I would put a percentage in it, like maybe 10 to 15 %,” Schneider said. “It was more about the player, the competitor, and the person and we had identified him as one of the better players in free agency that we wanted to try and add to our team, and we just stayed with it during our process.”

Schneider also said during a Seattle Sports radio appearance on September 5 that Adams has remained a team leader despite going “through a rough time” with his recovery.

“He’s rehabbing on his own, and then he’s going through the walkthroughs and then you can see him at practice. Just the intensity, chatting it up, communicating with his teammates, it’s important to him,” Schneider said. “He has a lot of pride, so to see him out there and just attacking his rehab and progressing the way he’s progressing, it’s really impressive… We’ll be very excited when he can come back.”

Seahawks are Not Expected to Rush Jamal Adams’ Return

Adams was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on August 24, but thus far, he’s yet to participate in practice. The Seahawks also have no need to rush him back with safeties Quandre Diggs and Love ready to go.

Head coach Pete Carroll remains eternally optimistic about Adams’ eventual return. “If you watched him work out, you would not think that he couldn’t go,” Carroll said while appearing on 93.3 KJR-FM radio last week, per ESPN. “He’s really working hard at it, but we’ve got to make sure that once he’s back, he stays back, so we’re going to be really careful with how we do that.

“It’s a long season and there will be a tremendous amount of season ahead whether it’s the first couple games or whatever. I’m not worried about it. I just want him right and really confident and ready to sustain once he gets back.”

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