Photo by Jasen Vinlove | USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets All-Pro safety Jamal Adams has requested a trade after frustrations with the team on their contract negotiations. Adams, who has two years left on his rookie deal, said that he would welcome a trade to the following eight teams: the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Texans, the San Francisco 49ers, the Seattle Seahawks, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Adams is 24 years old and is already one of the best safeties in the entire NFL. He made first team All-Pro last season and has been a force on the Jets defense. Statistically, he has been very impressive among all defensive backs since entering the league in 2017. Since he was drafted sixth overall by the Jets, he is first among DBs in sacks, QB hits, tackles for loss, and second in forced fumbles.
It is clear that Adams will make an impact wherever he ends up if he happens to be dealt. Where, however, will he end up, and who is the best fit for him? To answer this, let us look at three aspects: among the eight teams, who can afford him, who needs him the most and who could make the trade work?
First, let us rule out teams that cannot afford him. There are three who have little cap room and will have to pay their franchise quarterbacks: the Chiefs, the Ravens and the Cowboys. We can also eliminate the Buccaneers as while they had the worst pass defense among the eight teams last season, they have little cap room after acquiring Tom Brady this offseason. The only way a trade would work is if they give up other personnel on the team which would make other positions vulnerable. While secondary is a huge need for the Buccaneers, they cannot afford to compromise other areas as they push for a Super Bowl run in their narrow championship window.
This leaves us with five teams: the 49ers, the Seahawks, the Texans, the Eagles and the bucs. Among these teams, the team with the worst pass defense was the Texans. While the Texans may need him the most, they do not have the draft capital to make a deal. The Texans owe the Miami Dolphins their first-round pick in the next draft and the Jets are going to want a team’s first round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Also, this offseason, the Eagles traded a third and fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for cornerback Darius Slay. I do not see Eagles general manager Howie Roseman trading more picks for another member of the secondary, especially when the offensive line is in trouble after guard Brandon Brooks tore his achilles tendon. Eliminate the Eagles and Texans.
This leaves us with NFC West rivals in the Seahawks and 49ers. The 49ers were in the Super Bowl last season and finished 2019 with the NFL’s top passing defense. However, the Chiefs torched the 49ers’ secondary in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 54. The 49ers could use Adams to possibly get over the hump and capture their sixth championship. The 49ers owe the Washington Redskins their third-round pick in the next NFL Draft and with their picks at a lower value due to their success, I will conclude that they are not the best team to land Adams.
The best fit would be the Seahawks. The Seahawks ranked 27th in pass defense and their fans watched helplessly as in the divisional playoff round, Green Bay Packers’ wide receiver Davante Adams torched the Seahawks defense for seven receptions, 180 yards and two touchdowns. The Packers would win the game 28-23, but one must wonder what would have happened if Adams was playing for the Seahawks that day. Also, since the Seahawks do not owe a team any picks the first four rounds, they have the draft capital to make a trade work and they do not have to pay their quarterback as they already locked Russell Wilson up last year.
Not only would the Seahawks improve their pass defense, but it will give them a defensive presence not seen in Seattle since the Legion of Boom terrorized the NFL in the mid 2010s. Adams, in a lot of ways, is like Kam Chancellor. Both are physical, athletic, aggressive and can set the tone for the entire defense. Adams would be a perfect fit for the Seahawks and I think Seattle should do whatever it takes to acquire him.