Baltimore Ravens: A move for Jamal Adams is too complicated

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JANUARY 26: Jamal Adams #33 of the New York Jets in action during the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium on January 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - JANUARY 26: Jamal Adams #33 of the New York Jets in action during the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium on January 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Jamal Adams may be on the move from the New York Jets. The Baltimore Ravens are a popular landing spot for the All-Pro but it doesn’t seem feasible.

The opportunity to add top-end talent doesn’t come around very often. When it does, you better be ready to pay top dollar for it. That’s precisely the case for safety Jamal Adams and the New York Jets.

Adams has been the subject of trade talks for months now while also working on a long-term contract with the Jets. It’s a very fluid situation that is constantly jumping from one extreme to another. As recently as yesterday, May 21, there has been a reported snag in negotiations for this new deal. And just like that the trade speculation has begun once again.

Among the most popular places for Jamal Adams’ services are the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens. Naturally, we’re more intrigued by the latter team rather than the former. It’s an exciting thought, but does it make sense?

Not really, no.

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For starters, Baltimore isn’t exactly overflowing with cap space to bring in Jamal Adams. The team currently sits just shy of ~$9 million and still needs to finalize contracts with its rookie class, primarily its first-round draft choice, Patrick Queen. That must take priority over everything else.

It isn’t impossible to correct this situation, as new contracts for players like Ronnie Stanley and Matt Judon could create more wiggle room. That would allow the Ravens to make room for Adams ~$7 million cap hit.

That doesn’t magically make this move a perfect one, however. One needs to remember that Baltimore has serious money invested in the safety position already. Earl Thomas is going to have a cap hit of $15 million in 2020. Chuck Clark also very recently signed a deal that will pay him ~$3.5 million. Adding Adams’ ~$7 million cap number here is just excessive, especially considering you won’t often field three safeties. Sure, you could run “big-nickel” sets to have all three on the field, but then what do you do with your young linebackers in Queen and Malik Harrison?

To make things more complicated, the Ravens have a ton of money invested in the secondary as is. Marcus Peters is set to make $15 million in 2020, and fellow cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, and Tavon Young will combine for another $15.3 million. Those six members of Baltimore’s secondary, all of whom will have large roles this year, is worth $48.8 million. It would be pretty difficult to add another ~$7 million to this unit that is already plenty deep and talented.

In order for a trade for Jamal Adams to make sense, one or even two of those guys would need to be traded away. That might not be enough compensation, either. Draft capital would also need to get moved and it would likely cost a day two selection… maybe more.

We don’t even need to discuss the fact that Adams is due for a new contract following the 2021 season, and trading away ta many assets for a rental a safety isn’t exactly good business.

When you take all these factors into account, it simply is too much to work around to make that splash move for Jamal Adams. Yes, he’s one of the best defenders in the league, but Baltimore already has arguably the best secondary in the league without him even there.

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Jamal Adams could be traded prior to the 2020 season, but moving him to the Baltimore Ravens is a hassle that hardly seems worth it. Adding Adams to this defense is a cool thought, but it’s so unlikely to happen based on everything we just discussed.