One of the top safeties in the NFL has officially requested a trade, but should the Jaguars even be interested?
Last week, New York Jets safety Jamal Adams requested a trade after months of consistent scuttlebutt regarding his situation in New York.
A source said Jamal Adams is frustrated and has requested a trade from the Jets.— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) June 18, 2020
Although he still has two years remaining on his rookie contract, including the fifth-year option which the Jets picked up on April 27th, Adams has been persistent in his demands for a new contract to reflect what he has brought to the table as one of the premier talents at safety since he entered the NFL in 2017.
Drafted with the sixth-overall pick, it appeared to be a bit of a reach for a safety, however, Adams has proven to be a fantastic commodity that every team in the NFL would be itching to get their hands on. In three years, Adams has accumulated 273 tackles (210 solos), 29 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, six forced fumbles, 25 batted passes and two interceptions.
While his interception numbers are on the low range, Adams has graded out positively in coverage. According to Pro Football Focus, Adams earned a grade of at least 87.3 in each of the past two seasons, allowing an average passer rating of 79.1 in 2019.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Ryan Clark, Adams has a list of eight teams on his list of preferred targets, the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Six out of eight of the teams listed were playoff teams last season with the Cowboys reportedly being Adams’ team of choice as it is close to his hometown of Carrollton (TX.) and the Buccaneers on the rise by way of quarterback Tom Brady and the added firepower of Rob Gronkowski over the offseason.
The Cowboys also reportedly offered the Jets a first-round selection at the trade deadline last year, but got denied.
For the Jaguars, while they were certainly not a playoff team last year, nor are they among the eight teams Adams is reportedly interested in, Jacksonville could certainly use a player of his caliber in their defensive back seven.
The Jaguars are entering the 2020 season with one of the youngest rosters in the NFL with an average age of 25.1-years-old for their projected 22 starters. The team’s secondary is even younger with an average projected age of 24.6-years-old, including nickelback D.J. Hayden, 29, and 2020 first-round pick cornerback C.J. Henderson, 21.
While Adams wouldn’t raise the age at only 24-years-old himself, he would bring much-needed experience to the team’s back five. Among the team’s five projected starters, only Hayden has more experience by snap count at 3,885 snaps. Adams (3,181) is ahead of safeties Jarrod Wilson (1,354) and Ronnie Harrison (1,161) and cornerbacks Tre Herndon (987) and Henderson (0).
Historically, the Jaguars have struggled at the safety position and moved on from now-Chicago Bears safety Tashaun Gipson following the 2018 season. While, Wilson was solid as Gipson’s replacement last year, a lot was to be desired out of the position in terms of run support and plays on the football. Last year, Wilson broke up just four passes with two interceptions to boot.
There is no question that the Jaguars would benefit from acquiring Adams, and with two first-round picks in next year’s draft by virtue of trading centerpiece Jalen Ramsey last season, the team has the ammo. However, even if the compensation is met, Adams would still need to approve any trade by virtue of a brand-new deal.
According to Schefter, the Jets’ asking price for Adams at the time of the trade deadline last year was in the realm of a first-round selection and two second-round selections. While that price will absolutely change, given the circumstances, it likely won’t change much. Adams will also come with a hefty price tag, likely much more than the record-breaking safety contract signed by Chicago’s Eddie Jackson (14.6 million per year).
While the Jaguars could have the money next year to afford Adams, there is general uncertainty regarding the salary cap next year due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic, which could ultimately cut the upcoming NFL season short, or worse.
At the end of the day, would it be worth it?