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2020 NFL Trade Analysis (NFL and FF): Jamal Adams to Seattle

July 26, 2020 9:13 PM
July 27, 2020 8:29 AM

2020 NFL Trade Analysis (NFL and FF): Jamal Adams to Seattle


 So, Jamal Adams was traded to Seattle…

We’ll talk about the NFL/fantasy ramifications, but first let’s get a Jamal Adams discussion out of the way.

First, if you think Jamal Adams is ‘a jerk’, or ‘stupid’ because of the antics of the past few days+…he might be a jerk, but he’s not stupid. If you think, “I would never do that, I’d honor my contract…I’d never diss my boss/employer like that,” then you’re having a fairly normal/good standing American reaction…but you’re all wrong.

If you were in demand in your industry, you would see things a lot differently on an employment front. Your thoughts/action in your current industry versus the NFL ‘ways’ is ‘apples and oranges’. When I was working corporate, if I knew I could insult my bosses (out loud instead of whispering it behind their backs) and that doing so would force them to move me to another, better company where I’d make more money – why wouldn’t I complain? Why wouldn’t I negotiate in public…if it worked (and it has been for years now in the NFL)? Why wouldn’t I go for a better deal for me and my family? You would too. We just aren’t in these types of situations, personally.

You never see this with the Patriots, really, either…and we go to the Patriots for an example because Bill Belichick has built the greatest dynasty in a sport where the rules are set up to absolutely NOT be a dynasty in. The Patriots study character as much as talent. The Patriots will trade a good player ahead of this type of debacle that happened with the Jets. The Patriots are not ones to radically overspend on free agents or their in-house players (not even Tom Brady). The Patriots don’t even hardly want their draft picks because of the cost and a ‘top 10 pick mentality’ the top players take on because the media has convinced them how great they think they are is a reality.

This complain loud and get what you want worked for players on the perpetually weak/poorly run franchises in 2019 -- Jalen Ramsey and Minkah Fitzpatrick last year, and we start out 2020 with Adams successfully executing the ‘complain loud and get what you want’ plan. There are more to come. Can you blame them? This door to ‘complain loud and get what you want’ is going to become more pervasive – it’s the only thing the top players have/can do to get a better work environment/money pre-free agency in a communist economy (for them) pre-free agency. More power to them…the NFL built this system/the NFLPA allowed this system, so don’t blame the players for finding a loophole.

Jamal Adams is seen as a complaining jerk, but in reality he is gutsy and smart…I mean, he did just talk his way into getting what he wanted.


Was it a good deal/who won the deal from an NFL perspective?

I’d have to say the Jets, but it also matters ‘by what measuring stick are you using’?

What team is better in 2020 to chase the title? Seattle…maybe? (I’ll get more into detail on it in a moment).

What team is better long-term? The Jets, potentially.

The deal is essentially…Jamal Adams FOR Bradley McDougald and two 1st-round picks (when you get right down to it).

Jamal Adams is a good safety who plays a rover type position, who is questionable in coverage (and that’s important) worth two 1st-round picks more than Bradley McDougald?

Because the media and football analyst’s have scant idea who McDougald is…he doesn’t matter to them, but he’s been a solid/NFL starter safety for the past five seasons. McDougald is the kinda guy Bill Belichick might target in a deal that people pay little attention to and then he plays his role solidly in winning a Super Bowl. McDougald is not a nobody. Seattle just got a better athlete, younger player, better fit for the scheme but ditched a good/solid, professional safety…one that doesn’t have highlight reel turnovers/plays but also doesn’t allow a bunch of them either from frivolous gambling on so many plays (and that type of ‘boring’ play is not exciting for the media/analysts).

Seattle gets a little better fit at safety, but at what price? Adams is going to ask for and get ‘the moon’ in a contract extension. He’ll need to be made the highest priced safety in the league. We might think Adams is SOOO much better than McDougald, but what’s the difference if you consider Adams at $10-15M a year versus McDougald (or equivalent) at $4M a year?

So, the question becomes is Adams better than McDougald/veteran safety + $5-10M less per year the next few years (when Adams gets his new deal)? What player could you buy or retain with $5-10M more money/space? Hopefully, it’s spent on something more important than a safety (low value in the NFL economy).

…or the money/space the Jets saved might just mean they won’t have to cut a player when the salary cap drops in 2021 and maybe when it does in 2022. Which would, subsequently, mean Seattle might cut a player or two to make up space in the future. Was Adams worth it then?

There is an argument that receiving McDougald + future economic space is close to the NFL value of Jamaal Adams (a good safety but overrated in NFL terms/economy) considering the money/space it’s going to cost ahead.

For 2020, if I’m Seattle…I want Adams as my shot to try to take out the 49ers while Russell Wilson is still young. While Pete Carroll is still young and wants to coach. Adams is a nice bump for the 2020 chase.

For 2021 and beyond, I think Seattle might regret this on a number of levels (once Adams is paid)…for the cost.

I’m giving Seattle the slight lean/win here on Adams for McDougald (+ future cap space) analysis, but I haven’t brought into the discussion – the two 1st-round draft picks given to the Jets.

We all think 1st-round picks are so glamorous, but they are really things smart teams/GMs want little to do with. The top teams can draft talent just as good/better (even if by luck) in the 2nd-round+ without the higher pay commitment and without the ‘1st-round pick’ mindset. Seattle and New England aren’t usually in the 1st-round of drafts…and never ‘trade up’ into it. 1st-round picks aren’t as valuable, but still hold some value to use/trade away.

So, would I rather have McDougald + future cap space + two 1st-round picks…or Jamaal Adams? It isn’t even close – I send Adams packing and taking McDougald + space + picks. If you ask yourself (WWBBD) ‘what would Bill Belichick do?’…you know Adams would be gone in a heartbeat, and then he’d trade those two 1st-round picks away in short order.

Likely, the Jets will keep those picks…and then likely be lucky if one of these picks pans out. Assuming the trade is more Adams FOR McDougald + future cap space + ONE 1st-round pick (assume the other will be a pick/bust)…then it’s not as bad but I’d still trade Adams away in a heartbeat for what the Jets got from them.


Fantasy Impact…

As far as DSTs goes, it makes Seattle a bit better…Adams is a good gambler to make ‘plays’, plays good for fantasy – picks, sacks, etc. But Seattle is not a lockdown/stud defensive unit overall because of the move, but a bump better than yesterday for FF.

Adams will play a similar role for Seattle as he did for the Jets, because that’s all he’s good for – rover, surprise blitzer, gambler in pass coverage. He’s going to get his numbers…until he gets his big contract, then watch the tackle totals start to melt away and Seattle fans start noticing/complaining while the rest of the country still thinks he’s great (see: Tyrann Mathieu’s career).

The Jets have a bit of a sleeper defense, when healthy. They were dominating in flashes at times last year (a fact/tape that eludes analysts because they aren’t looking) but their unit could not stay healthy at any position. Adams was not beloved by his coaches, and I believe Gregg Williams is relieved and would rather have McDougald, honestly…he fits Williams’ system better, like Adams does for Carroll. One of the best coaching jobs of 2019, under everyone’s noses, was the job Gregg Williams did with the Jets D with a ton of no-name players. Consider what Gregg Williams did as interim coach of the Browns the year prior and…he might be a great coach, just an awful human being who wears out his welcome too fast.

If Adams has a top 3 DB/IDP scoring season…McDougald as a full-time safety for NYJ might have a top 10-15 DB/IDP season.



I love this move for the Jets, in theory, but it’s true only if they capitalize on the picks (obviously) – they need to deal those picks or hit homeruns on each (and rookie GM Joe Douglas had a great draft in 2020). If the Jets ever get a real quarterback, they might have something developing here. But considering the Jets will tie themselves to Sam Darnold too long and might wipe out the HC and GM because of Darnold’s failings…they may not be able to see this through, and then it was all for naught.

Seattle is better positioned for a 2020 season title run, and that’s what it’s all about. They can deal with the ramifications of future caps, etc., later – for now, they are trying to win…which is also smart. The Jets aren’t winning the AFC East, so it was a smart move for them and where they are at…so too for Seattle’s ‘win now’ situation. In the end, I think the Seattle organization/Seattle fans will regret this deal, but right now it feels like their birthday…because the media has brainwashed everyone on how super-great Adams is. What GM Joe Douglas got for Adams could be legendary…one of the sharpest moves of 2020, but we need two+ years to find out…hopefully, Douglas will still be there to see it through.

If Quinton Dunbar gets cleared to play for Seattle PLUS Jamal Adams added…then I’m a little more hyped on Seattle to win the NFC West in 2020. Less so in 2021+. 


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>