Why 2023 is likely Jamal Adams last season with the Seahawks

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seattle Seahawks traded for Jamal Adams in 2020 and gave up a lot of draft capital to the New York Jets. New York is winning the trade so far. But Adams could still be a difference-maker for Seattle. The problem is that even if Adams is decent this year, he might not return in 2024.

Jamal Adams seems like a good guy and he is well-liked in the Seahawks franchise. He doesn’t want to be injured as often as he is, I assume. But the fact is, Adams does get hurt and he gets hurt a lot. He has played in literally half the games he could have during his time in Seattle: 25 out of 50.

In 2020, he was great as a pass rusher, basically used like an edge rusher, but not good in coverage. He had 9.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits.  In 2021, Adams played nearly 90 more snaps but had zero sacks and just 2 QB hits. Sure, he was used less to blitz but going from 9.5 sacks to 0 is partly on the player too.

Jamal Adams might be entering his final season with the Seahawks

But availability is a talent as well and Adams simply doesn’t seem to have that. He missed a combined nine games in his first two seasons with the Seahawks. The five he missed in 2021 came at the end of the season and Seattle’s defense actually seemed better with safety Ryan Neal playing Adams’ strong safety spot. This appeared to show that Adams’ value to the team wasn’t much better, if any, than an average replacement player.

We learned the same thing in 2022 for the most part. Adams was injured in the second quarter of Week 1 and missed the rest of the season. Neal took his place again (it should be noted Neal fully replaced Adams a few games after Adams was hurt as Seattle stupidly tried replacing Adams with Josh Jones to begin with) and, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Neal was the highest-graded safety in the NFL this past season.

Neal is a lot less expensive to pay than Jamal Adams and seems to be nearly as good. It doesn’t make financial sense for the Seahawks to release Adams right now. Doing so before June 1st would cost Seattle $23,890,000 in dead cap when Adams has a cap hit of $18,110,000 in 2023. Waiting until after June 1st would open up $8.4 million in cap room for Seattle on June 2nd but by that time most high-quality free agents are already signed.

Must Read. 4 worst free agent signings under John Schneider. light

But while Adams appears to be a beloved member of the franchise, even when he has played he hasn’t been worth the cap hit of $23,610,000 he would take up in 2024. Few non-quarterbacks are. Unless Adams can finally stay healthy this season – and he hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy – while also being among the better safeties in the league then there is no financial reason to keep Adams on the roster in 2024.