Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks newcomer Jamal Adams scoffs at notion he’s just a ‘box safety’

Seattle Seahawks

There’s been a lot of handwringing over the price the Seahawks paid to get Jamal Adams.

The overall sentiment from the numerous detractors of the trade is that two first-round picks is too steep a price in general, but especially for a strong safety. Quarterback (which goes without saying), left tackle, wide receiver, edge rusher and corner are all generally accepted as positions of greater value.

But there are exceptions to every rule. There are players so multiple that they can give you a little bit of everything while doing it at the highest level. That’s Adams.

“At the end of the day, you have to realize that everybody is going to have an opinion about something,” Adams said on Thursday via Zoom call. “If I have to go out there and continue to do what I do, continue to learn. That’s what matters.

“People that really know ball and watch ball and know me, the whole ‘box safety’ word – it doesn’t even matter. You just turn on the film, I do a bit more than just stay in the box. I’m excited to go out there and compete.”

And that’s true. ESPN’s Mina Kimes tweeted earlier in the week that Adams has lined up more at defensive line and linebacker than he has at safety over his first three NFL seasons. That versatility is what’s led to his combined 12.0 sacks, 23 quarterback hits, 25 passes defended, six forced fumbles, 273 tackles and 28 tackle for loss from 2017-19.


Adams said he grew up admiring Bob Sanders, Troy Polamalu, Sean Taylor and Ryan Clark (among others). His goal was to somehow mold himself into a hybrid player that had traits of all four.

“I wanted to create that one person out of all those guys,” Adams shared. “I always took bits and pieces of their game and tried to add it to mine."

That’s what he’s shown since being selected sixth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU. Adams is already a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro.

He likes to think of himself as a hunter. That goes for when he’s rushing the passer, dropping back in coverage or pursuing the run.

“Anytime I hit the field, I’m hunting,” Adams said. “It’s how I was always raised as far as, on and off the field, if you want something in life you have to go get it. No one is going to give it to you. Nothing is handed out. Everything is earned.”

He took that sentiment to the extreme during the Zoom call. Adams told reporters that he’s going to have to come in and compete for a starting job with the Seahawks. The modesty was a nice touch, but his spot is very much secure.

Adams’ presence gives the Seahawks a standout pairing at safety alongside Quandre Diggs as well as the added star power Seattle’s defense desperately needed. Now it’s up to Pete Carroll and the rest of the defensive coaching staff to take advantage of their new weapon.