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Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Seattle Seahawks and All-Pro safety Jamal Adams have agreed to a four-year, $70 million extension with $38 million in guarantees. The deal extends through the 2025 season and Adams’ 30th birthday. Adams makes $9.86 million in the final year of his rookie contract before the extension kicks in.
The #Seahawks have agreed to terms on a large extension for star S Jamal Adams, a 4-year, $70M deal that makes him the league’s highest paid safety, I’m told. He gets $38M guaranteed, breaking the stalemate. A long time coming and well-deserved. 💰💰💰
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 17, 2021
Fellow NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo added that the new contract has a maximum value of $72 million, meaning Adams could earn up to $18 million per year. For reference, that’s the same annual value as linebacker Bobby Wagner’s deal. If Adams fails to hit the max, he’ll still make $17.5 million annually, which ties him for the 17th most among all defensive players.
Seattle traded two first-round picks, a 2021 third-round selection, and safety Bradley McDougald to the New York Jets for Adams ahead of last season. The massive trade made reaching an extension with Adams essential. The former sixth overall pick exercised his leverage this offseason, sitting out of practices until the deal got done.
Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Adams is back in pads at Seahawks practices, and the team plans on waiving any fines he might’ve faced for sitting out.
Adams played a critical role on Seattle’s maligned defense last season. Despite battling nagging injuries, including one to a finger that required surgery and a torn labrum, the LSU product led his team with 9.5 sacks. Adams also finished third on the team in tackles.
This historic extension comes at a strange time in Adams’ career. This past year, the safety made his third consecutive Associated Press All-Pro team but earned the lowest defensive and coverage grades of his career from Pro Football Focus (PPF). Seahawks fans hope that injuries and Pete Carroll’s extravagant usage of Adams were responsible for the decline.
Adams’ extension could have massive implications for the safety market. Safeties were some of the most underpaid players in the NFL over the past several years, but this new deal blows everything open for future free agents.
Arizona’s Budda Baker signed a four-year, $59 million contract in 2020 that made him the highest-paid safety in football at $14.75 million annually. Justin Simmons surpassed that mark in March with a four-year, $61 million deal ($15.25 million annually). If those contracts were steps in the right direction for safeties, the Adams extension is a running leap.
Jessie Bates, Tyrann Mathieu, Marcus Maye, Harrison Smith, and Marcus Williams are all free agents next offseason. Meanwhile, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James are eligible for extensions as they enter the final years of their rookie contracts. Fitzpatrick and Mathieu are back-to-back First-Team All-Pros, while Bates was PFF’s best safety in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Seahawks still have another extension to negotiate. Left tackle Duane Brown, who the team traded for in 2017, is in the final year of his contract. The Virginia Tech product is less than a month away from turning 36 years old, but he’s still one of the game’s premier tackles. He’s also the best lineman Russell Wilson has ever played behind.
Less than a week ago, Seahawks General Manager John Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle there was “nothing new to report” regarding the Adams and Brown extensions. Either that wasn’t the case with Adams’ contract, or things came together quickly after months of negotiation. That means news of a Brown deal could break at any time.
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