After an offseason filled with public contract negotiations, Jamal Adams is making a stand. The two-time Pro Bowler has reportedly informed the New York Jets that he wants a trade with the team apparently unwilling to ink him to a new deal with two years left on his rookie contract.
Adams has firmly established himself as one of the league's best all-around safeties in only three years as a professional. Last season, he had 75 tackles along with 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He isn't a ballhawk safety with only two interceptions in three seasons, but has 25 passes defended over that same time frame and possess the physicality and coverage chops to shadow bigger receivers and tight ends.
All that is to say Adams is young, very talented, and versatile in a way few other safeties are in today's NFL. If the Jets acquiesce and start to shop Adams, which teams should give them a call?
The Jones family should be tripping over each other to get to a phone and call up Jets GM Joe Douglas. They were linked as an interested team in some light trade rumors floated during the regular season, and nothing Dallas has done since has changed the situation: the Cowboys need talent on the back end of their defense, and they need it badly. They lost top cover man Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins after he signed a massive deal in free agency and didn't replace him in the draft.
They have some young prospects they're excited about, and HaHa Clinton-Dix is kind of like a discounted version of Adams. But the 'Boys are in it to win it this year, no matter what happens with Dak Prescott. The cap situation would be complicated, but teams can create cap room wherever they like with some maneuvering. If Dallas adds Adams to a stacked team, it could be just what the franchise needs to go from competitive to a contender.
Without Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles are looking for top-end talent at safety to make up for their lack of that type of talent at cornerback. They did bring in Darius Slay, but he alone won't fix the secondary issues that have plagued Philly for the last few years. Adams would become a leader on the back end immediately and could feast while quarterbacks are terrorized by the Eagles' fierce defensive front.
As previously mentioned, the Eagles sent out some draft capital already acquiring Slay and gave him an extension. They might not be interested in doing so again. But Howie Roseman is not a GM who passes up available talent, especially for a player the caliber of Adams. Plus, the man in charge in New York is a former disciple of Roseman's. The stars could align for the Eagles to nab another foundational cornerstone for a low cost relative to the talent they'd be adding.
Pete Carroll loves his secondary playmakers and is probably chomping vigorously on his gum in anticipation of what he could do with Adams at Century Link Field. He'd pair very well with Quandre Diggs and they'd be the most vocal pairing of safeties in the league. Seattle's defense has also suffered a bit in recent years with the departures of their high-end talent and could use an influx.
John Schneider is never quick to pay players big money, even if they deserve it, which could be a holdup here. But Seattle's front office knows it needs to capitalize on Russell Wilson's prime years to the fullest of their abilities. Last year ended in disappointment, and while one cannot point to the secondary as the root cause of the Seahawks' loss in Green Bay, a playmaker like Adams can turn the tide in any important contest. This would improve Seattle immensely as a whole and give Carroll another toy to torture opposing offenses with.