Just when the Seattle Seahawks thought they could take a breath this offseason, it appears they’ll have to keep their inhaler handy. It’s been a tumultuous past few months due to the very public sage between the club and quarterback Russell Wilson, a roller coaster that included Wilson’s agent naming four teams he’d waive his trade clause for, only for Wilson himself to now proclaim he never asked for a trade. With that now seemingly put to bed, they must now shift their focus to Jamal Adams, the All-Pro safety they acquired in 2020.
Adams is reportedly expected to sit out mandatory minicamp, per Geoffrey C. Arnold of The Oregonian, which technically makes him a holdout as he attempts to exercise leverage toward a contract extension, having already sat out of OTAs.
The difference between the two absences is clear, because while OTAs are voluntary, minicamp is mandatory and absence from it comes attached to a possible fine (upwards of $93,000). The team will reportedly opt to not fine him though, instead excusing him for personal reasons — adds Tom Pelissero of NFL Network — in a move that could keep the wheels greased in contract talks.
That’s not the money Adams was concerned with anyway though, seeing as he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal and would like security beyond 2021. He and the Seahawks reportedly agreed to table any talks of a potential extension during the trade that that sent safety Bradley McDougald, a 2021 first-round, a 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 first-round pick to the New York Jets in exchange for Adams and a 2022 fourth-round pick.
With so much capital given up to land Adams, the Seahawks want him to stay put for a long time to come — as noted in April by general manager John Schneider.
“We want him to be here a long time for sure. He’s a great player,” he said of Adams. “We’re glad we made the trade to get him, and he’s going to be a very important part of our future.”
For his part, Adams made it clear last summer he wants to retire a Seahawk.
“I prayed on it hard,” Adams told media via Periscope interview. “I asked God to place me where I needed to be — whether that was to go back to New York or whether it was to be traded. This is my calling, man.
“I’m here to stay. I’m excited to be a Seattle Seahawk, like I said. I’m really overwhelmed but, at the same time, it’s so surreal to be around a great organization like Seattle. To be coached by legendary coaches, Hall of Fame coaches, and to play with Hall of Famers.
“… I’m just excited to be here. I’m here to help. And I can’t wait to get out there in front of the 12th Man.”
The 12th Man is on track to return to Lumen Field this coming season, and the expectation is Adams will be on the field to greet them, but negotiating a contract with the Seahawks while holding out is usually a tall task that doesn’t often end how the player would like. As noted by former NFL agent and current CBS Sports contract guru Joel Corry, the organization doesn’t take kindly to being strong-armed.
And while Adams is coming off of another Pro Bowl season, it was also one that saw him battle several injuries that required surgery to repair this offseason. All of this lands on the table for negotiating an NFL contract and, currently, the two sides are indeed at an impasse. Both want the same thing, which is Adams in a Seahawks uniform far beyond 2021 (the fifth-year option of his rookie deal having been picked up by the Jets prior to the trade), but how they arrive at that destination is to be determined.
“The plan is to retire here,” Adams noted in 2020.
That said, as the Jets can attest when it comes to the mercurial All-Pro, plans can change.