Jamal Adams fits: One team stands out, but here’s why you shouldn’t expect anything to happen soon

Jamal Adams fits: One team stands out, but here’s why you shouldn’t expect anything to happen soon

Don’t expect the Jamal Adams trade chatter to die down anytime soon. There is nothing else going on in the football world, this situation boils over every few months as it is, and Adams isn’t going to be happy until he gets paid – in New York or somewhere else.

I wouldn’t get my hopes up that it gets resolved in short order, either, and the climate for a trade appears as bleak as ever. Getting any owner to reach deep into his pockets during a pandemic, with the global economy in crisis and the specter of a shortened season with no fans possibly looming, and make Adams the highest -paid safety in the history of the NFL is no easy thing; and prying away cheap, premium draft picks in that same economic climate is no easy task from a general manager’s perspective, either. The real money in the 2020 NFL offseason has already been spent, budgets have been maxed out in most cases and owners are risk averse to change course in one of the worst economies of their lifetime.

A trade of this magnitude will be exceedingly difficult to execute on many levels, and with the Jets having not a single other player on the roster in line for an extension of any sort, it continues to make the most sense to me for them simply to pay their young star. But apparently getting the Johnson family to dig deep on such a deal is not an easy take, which in and of itself sends a signal to the rest of the market.

Consider all that is uncertain right now. The cap may or may not stay stagnant or dip in 2020. It also may or may not bounce back quickly in 2021. The broadcast contracts may or may not get delayed in their negotiations because of the issues networks may face having to refund money if games are not played across all sports. But what we do know is that the costs of draft picks is fixed, the best teams – the kinds that might think a safety can put them over the top – value them the most and the safety position is not one that shifts the balance of power the way a quarterback or pass rusher might.

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Then consider some of the teams that have exploring Adams in the past. The Ravens and the Cowboys are the first to come to mind, and one could certainly make the case that each could use a ball-hawking safety (Earl Thomas is wearing out his welcome in Baltimore). But the Ravens do not have a ton of cap wiggle room, they have a slew of their own players who need new contracts in the next 18 months, cutting Thomas would incur more cap issues, and I cannot see Eric DeCosta giving up real draft capital to take on all of that. Remember, Adams is not going to come cheap.

As for the Cowboys, well, this whole Dak Prescott thing will not be completed until mid July, Jerry Jones has been sitting on his war chest the last few years and getting him to do anther top-of-the-market deal on top of the Prescott contract is probably a bridge too far.

Of yeah, and from the Jets perspective, the draft was just competed this month. They could have used that draft capital then. Waiting another full year – and using those picks in what could be an altered 2021 draft depending on whether or not college football is played – is far from ideal. Nothing about the current timing is ideal.

If you don’t believe me, check out what’s been going on with the biggest fish remaining in free agency. How’s that working out for Jadeveon Clowney and Cam Newton these days? You don’t see a bunch of owners fighting and clawing to give them $15M-$20M checks do you? Well guess what, pandemic or not, Adams is going to want his money right now, upfront, in bonuses. And from a team perspective, given how unusual the next few years might be, they would prefer in most cases to put the heavy lifting from a cap and cash perspective several years down the line, on the other side of this pandemic if possible.

It’s tricky. Throw in the run on safeties that dominated a portion of the second round of the 2020 draft, and it further limits the trade options. So I wouldn’t be holding my breath for this to get wrapped up anytime soon, and I’d make the case that the team best positioned to pay Adams right now is actually the Jets.

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