Everything Ravens fans need to know about the Jamal Adams trade
Here is everything a Baltimore Ravens fan needs to know about the Jamal Adams trade:
On July 25th, 2020, after longtime hostility, the New York Jets agreed to trade star safety, Jamal Adams, and a 2021 fourth round pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for safety, Bradly McDougal, a 2021 first round pick, 2021 third round pick and a 2021 first round pick. Adams finally got his wish, but the Seahawks, clearly in win-now mode, paid hefty price and jeopardized their future. The Jets won the trade by a mile, and the Ravens should never have considered trading for him considering the price tag.
The Jets Grade – A+
The Jets struck absolute gold. By trading away someone an overrated player didn’t want to be there and was tarnishing the team’s reputation for months, they got in return Bradley McDougal, a quality player who is a top-20 safety, two first-round picks, and a third round pick. Although the first round picks will more than likely be in the back end of the first round (assuming Seattle is good for the next two years), Jets general manager Joe Douglas, who spent the majority of his time in Baltimore, knows that they can change a franchise around. The Raves got the greatest middle linebacker of all-time with the 26th pick, arguably the greatest safety of all-time Ed Reed with the 24th pick, and most recently Lamar Jackson, last season’s unanimous MVP, with the last pick of the first round. In a rebuilding franchise that has struggled for the majority of the 21st century, accumulating picks is vital.
What makes this trade even better is that Adams is not the best player at his position and his expected $20 million per year contract is overprices. The Jets were right not to pay him that much, but instead of compromising Adams slandered them over the past couple months.
The Seahawks Grade – C
This trade is strait out abysmal. The Seahawks traded their starting safety and future for an overrated safety who is in line for a record-setting extension sooner than later.
First of all, Adams is not the best safety in the league, as that title belongs rightfully to the Vikings Harrison Smith. Smith is much better in coverage, a safety’s most valuable trait, than Adams. Adams on the other hand excels at pass rush, a safety’s least valuable trait. His 6.5 sacks last season is deluding, as the Jets defensive line is atrocious and on an average defensive line he would never achieve such a feat. The Seahawks now-former starting safety, Bradley McDougal, is a solid player, and although Adams is a much better player it is not significant. Although Seattle doesn’t have a good record of using draft picks, most recently taking Jordyn brooks, a second to third round talent in the first round, safety wasn’t a position of need for Seattle, and they could have used those picks to trade for a bigger need, such as offensive line and cornerback.
Second, Adams is in line for a huge extension – the whole reason who wanted to leave New York was that he and the Jets couldn’t agree on one. The Seahawks already are paying Russell Wilson $35 million a year and Bobby Wagner $15 million a year, and as a result only have about $17 million left in cap space, not enough to sign Adams to his expected $20 million-plus per year contract. What makes it worse is that next year, the NFL cap space will reduce from $198.2 million to $175 million, a big reduction. With their current contracts, the Seahawks would be six million dollars over the cap space in 2021, so extending Adams would significantly reduce the quality of the overall team.
Third, the Seahawks pulled off a similar trade last year, acquiring a player who is on the cusp of getting a big extension (Jadeveon Clowney), last season and failed to resign him, wasting a third round pick in the process. If the Seahawks cannot agree with Adams, who will definitely reset the safety market, on a contract, this trade will look even worse, which is hard to believe considering how bad it already is for the Seahawks
Why the Ravens Would Never Have Traded For Adams
Looking at what the Jets got in return, they would only trade Adams in return for multiple highly valued picks and a starting-caliber safety. This type of trade completely goes against how Ravens Eric DeCosta operates, as he opts to trade fifth round picks for All-Pros (Marcus Peters, Calais Campbell) instead.
If the Ravens were to pull this off, they would have had to part ways with starting safety Chuck Clark (Earl Thomas is 30 and has a massive contract, the Jets wouldn’t have wanted him), who is a great, emerging player whom the Raves extended to a team-friendly, three-year, $16 million ($5.3 million per year) contract after breaking out for them last season. Adams is a better player than Clark, but he is not worth $15 million more per year (Adams is expected to get more than $20 million per year in his imminent contract extension).
This by itself is not worth it, but we haven’t talked about the draft part of the trade. The Raves typically draft well, landing franchise cornerstones Ronnie Stanley, Marlon Humphrey, Lamar Jackson, and Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown with first-round picks in the last five years alone. Parting ways with two of those types of players plus Chuck Clark? That is simply not worth it for Baltimore (or any franchise with a good starting safety and who historically drafts well).