Back in July of 2020, New York Jets star Safety Jamal Adams had enough with the organization he grew up with. After preaching for years that he wanted to be a Jet for life, how he was all about the slow grind and how he wanted to be here for the massive organizational turnaround from zeros to heroes, he requested a trade.
But he handled it in the worst way possible, airing out his dirty laundry in a New York Daily News article bashing the entire organization. His tone had changed from “we will grow and get better together” to “this squad, helmed by former HC Adam Gase, will never succeed.”
I mean, he was right, but c’mon.
One of the most notable things about this whole saga looking back was his list of teams he wanted to be traded to. Each team had made the playoffs the following year, besides the rejuvenated, hometown Cowboys and the Tom Brady-led Buccaneers.
He certainly got what he wished for, getting shipped to the Seahawks along with a 2022 4th rounder for a 2021 first rounder, 2022 first rounder, 2021 third rounder and a replacement safety in Bradley McDougald.
He certainly got his extension, albeit after that fourth season like the Jets had hoped for. He ended up signing on with Seattle for another four years and for up to $72 million, making Adams the highest paid safety in the NFL at the time.
But man, he hasn’t had a lot of success. Personally, “Blitz Boy” got a lot of sacks in 2020, taking down the quarterback 9.5 times, the most by any defensive back in a season in history. Besides that, he didn’t really do much, earning a then-career worst 64.2 PFF grade on the year, due to his subpar coverage. Currently, he has an even lower 63.5 grade for 2021, making for two massive drop offs from his monster seasons of 89.8 and 87.9 in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Those sacks haven’t come quite as easily this year, as Adams has zero to show for his 11 games played. He actually racked up one interception this year, against Aaron Rodgers of all people, which he promptly flexed on Twitter. I’m sure he didn’t post the videos of him getting burned by a 34 year old DeSean Jackson, though. This interception put him at three total for his entire career. The Jets got back the same amount of draft picks as he has total interceptions.
What’s even worse is that he’s seemingly taking down an entire dynasty with him. The Legion of Boom hasn’t been a force in a while, but Seattle has always been in contention with quarterback Russell Wilson at the helm. The offense hasn’t been great this year, especially with Alex Collins as the RB1, an injury to Wilson and underutilizing DK Metcalf, who had one catch on Monday Night Football. But the organization’s road to redemption isn’t made any easier with Adams’ fat contract and loss of three crucial picks, the last of which is currently No. 4 in the draft.
After wanting to go to a playoff team, Adams went to the playoffs— and proceeded to get bounced in the Wild Card round. Now, the Seahawks are 3-8 after a heartbreaking loss to the Washington Football Team. They currently have the same record as (checks notes) the New York Jets. He got paid, but talk about karma.
And look, Seattle is obviously better than this. Each week goes by and I am shocked with each loss that piles up, just because the team has been so good for so long. They just haven’t been getting their expected production from their players, especially all of the secondary. To improve, they now need to hit on some cheaper gems in free agency and some sleepers in the draft instead of splurging too much or taking a flashy, fourth overall pick.
It is for these reasons that I believe the Jets have somehow flipped the script, albeit slightly, so that they are more well-positioned than the Seahawks. They both have the same record, but New York currently owns two top five picks and two second rounders this year, with only 5 million less cap space than Seattle.
Sure, Russell Wilson is still there, but he is only getting older. His 12 touchdowns in eight games is very uncharacteristic, as well as his paltry 46.2 QBR this year. Meanwhile, New York has a rookie still learning the ropes in Zach Wilson. While his performances thus far haven’t been great, not many rookie QBs are doing well (see Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence) and growing pains are typically part of the process. It’s up to Douglas to continue to build around Z. Wilson and bolster his development at the highest level.
You could even look to the coaches to solidify my point. In New York, you have a young, energetic Robert Saleh who has a lot to prove as a first year head coach. In Seattle, you have former Jets skipper Pete Carroll, who has had successes in the past, but with Russell Wilson’s seeming decline the future does not look good for him or the team. Without his star QB, he has a career record of 15 games under .500, which doesn’t bode well once R. Wilson’s quarterback play takes even more of a significant drop.