Seahawks

How Budda Baker’s record deal impacts Seahawks safety Jamal Adams 

Seahawks

Jamal Adams just got more expensive. 

After the Arizona Cardinals made Budda Baker the highest-paid safety in NFL history on Tuesday with a four-year $59 million deal with $33.1 million guaranteed, Adams is also seeing dollar signs.  

With Baker resetting the safety market at $14.75 million per year, expect Adams to have a big payday coming with the Seahawks as well. 

Baker is coming off his second Pro Bowl season and his first as safety. He recorded 147 tackles in 2020, leading the NFL with 104 solo tackles. He doesn’t, however, have a single interception since entering the NFL in 2017 as the 36th overall pick out of the University of Washington. 

In Adams' first three NFL seasons, he posted 210 solo tackles,12.0 sacks, 25 passes defended, and two interceptions. Adams took home Pro Bowl honors for a second-straight season and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2019. 

Adams agreed to play out the 2020 season on his rookie deal and tabled long-term extension talks with Seattle to after this year. 

The Seahawks control Adams’ rights through 2021 and will pay him $9.86 million next season if he plays the final year of his contract. Per OverTheCap, the Seahawks are expected to have roughly $54 million in cap room in 2021. 

While Baker’s contract makes him the highest-paid safety, Landon Collins currently owns the largest contract in total value for a safety at $84 million over six seasons with Washington. The Seahawks could opt to add a sixth year to raise the bar with Adams.

 

It seems like Seattle’s all-in on the 24-year-old so far. 

"There's so many things that he does well that we're excited about fitting that together as we move forward," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier this month. "It doesn't seem like uncharted territory for me at all because I've been very fortunate and have coached some really, really good safeties over the years, and I see traits of Jamal in all of those guys. He can do everything that we want a guy to do."

“Jamal’s a fiery guy. I love him,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “He’s passionate about the game, he’s one of the best players in the game, for sure, one of the best defensive players. He can do it all. He’s got the energy, he’s got the passion, he’s got the energy, he’s got the knowledge. He brings something, for sure, to our team, not just for the defense, for our whole football team. He’s a great leader. He’s going to be a great football player for a long time. I’m glad he’s on our team.”

Adams has already vowed he wants to retire a Seahawk.

"The plan is to retire here," he said. "This is my plan. But obviously, those things handle themselves. When all you have to do is just go on the field and perform, do the right things on and off the field, and those things will take care of itself, man. So I'm very excited to be here. I know the rest of the guys are excited to have me, and the coaching staff, and everybody else. So again, man, we'll worry about that when the time comes."

The Seahawks gave up a lot to acquire Adams, including two first-round draft picks, we’ll have to see if they are willing to make him a lucrative deal to keep him in Seattle for many years to come.

Adams isn't the only notable player to be traded recently to a new team on his rookie contract without a guarantee of a new deal. The Houston Texans sent a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick in the trade that acquired left tackle Laremy Tunsil a year ago. Then, later that season, the Los Angeles Rams traded first-round picks in 2020 and 2021 along with a fourth-round pick in 2021 to Jacksonville for Jalen Ramsey.  

After one season in their new destinations, Tunsil signed a three-year extension for $66 million with $57.85 million guaranteed, while Ramsey said he will report to 2020 training camp without an extension in place. 

With the Seahawks having sent similar capital to acquire Adams, the safety holds a lot of leverage in future negotiations and the Seahawks will want to keep him happy for the long term. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Evan Silva].