Jamal Adams

Seahawks S Jamal Adams Considered Retirement

Monday night’s season-debut for Seahawks safety Jamal Adams will not only be the first game he’s played in since suffering a season-ending quadriceps injury in the team’s season opener last year, but it will also be his first game back in MetLife Stadium since being traded by the Jets in 2020. The sentimental returns are only emphasized by recent reports from Brady Henderson at ESPN that, after his most recent brush with serious injury, Adams considered retiring from the game of football altogether.

Adams started off his career relatively healthy, only missing two games over his first three seasons in New York. Since coming to Seattle, though, Adams has missed 28 of a possible 53 regular season contests with an assortment of injuries. While some injuries to his groin, elbow, and fingers were minor ailments, two shoulder labrum tears and the most recent torn quad tendon have forced him to miss extended periods during his time as a Seahawk. The litany of injuries has had a lasting effect on Adams, leaving him in a “dark place” shortly after he learned he’d be out for the 2022 season.

“It was tough,” Adams told reporters in his first media appearance since suffering the quadriceps injury. “I thought about retiring. I thought about a lot of things. ‘Is this going to be it for me?’ I didn’t know, but I knew eventually. After I got that MRI, I told myself I’m going to be back. I didn’t know when or how, but I was going to figure it out.”

It didn’t take long for Adams to formulate when that return would come. He soon determined that, knowing his recovery would keep him from participating in most of the summer and preseason, he would need a few weeks of regular season practice before returning to action. He was activated from the physically unable to perform list a week before roster cuts, and Week 4 was circled on the schedule.

Another player returning to MetLife for the first time since joining the Seahawks, safety Julian Love has been starting alongside free safety Quandre Diggs in Adams’ place so far this year. Head coach Pete Carroll announced that Adams would have no restrictions in his return from injury, while defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt was a bit more hesitant in making any promises, telling the media that they’d “feel that out as they go.”

We’ll likely have to wait until Monday to see Seattle’s exact plan for working Adams back into the mix. Maybe, he’ll truly be full-go and play 100 percent of the team’s defensive snaps against the Giants. Maybe, he’ll split time with Love as the team tests just how much Adams can handle in his first contest in over a year. Or, maybe, Adams just gets his feet wet, testing out the repairs to his knee and seeing if he really is ready to go full speed. Regardless, we’re due for a momentous return that, for a moment, seemed like it may never happen.

NFC West Notes: 49ers, Adams, Cards, Rams

Recent restructures have vaulted the 49ers past the Browns for cap space. San Francisco’s $42.1MM leads the NFL by more than $7MM. GM John Lynch did not rule out some of these funds being used to add a trade piece, but the 49ers are planning roll over the bulk of the space to 2024.

Really, we always look at the cap for three years out,” Lynch said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. “Obviously, we have all that room this year. But really it’s to create room for future years because we roll everything over. It helps us in future years because it creates some room we’re going to need. … We’ve pretty much done what we’re going to do this year, but you never know with the trade deadline and all that.

The 49ers created some space by extending Nick Bosa, though the team authorized a record-smashing accord that will show up on future caps, but Brock Purdy‘s rookie contract runs through 2025. During the Lynch-Kyle Shanahan era, the 49ers have not been shy about adding at the deadline, as the Christian McCaffrey and Emmanuel Sanders trades illustrate. In place as a Super Bowl contender once again, the 49ers will have some ammo to accommodate a bigger salary if they choose. For now, however, they are viewing the restructures to help down the road. Even with the projected carryover, the 49ers currently are projected to hold barely $17MM in 2024 cap space.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Seahawks will not delay Jamal Adams‘ return for another week. Pete Carroll pronounced his highest-paid safety as “ready to go” for the team’s Week 4 Monday-night matchup against the Giants. Adams suffered a torn quadriceps tendon during the Seahawks’ season-opening Monday-nighter against the Broncos last year. The seventh-year veteran spent most of training camp on the Seahawks’ active/PUP list, and while he avoided the reserve/PUP designation, he still was expected to miss regular-season time. Additionally, Carroll said Riq Woolen and Charles Cross have a good chance to return in Week 4. Cross has missed the past two games, while Woolen was down for Week 3.
  • In 2020, the Cardinals had both CeeDee Lamb and Tristan Wirfs on their radar when they held the No. 8 overall pick. Many in the Cards’ war room believed it would be a Wirfs-or-Lamb decision, GOPHNX.com’s Howard Balzer notes. Isaiah Simmons instead became the selection. While Simmons did not pan out in Arizona, being traded to the Giants for a seventh-round pick last month, he was viewed as an elite-level prospect. The Lions and Giants were linked to Simmons at Nos. 3 and 4, while Wirfs and Lamb did not go off the board until Nos. 13 and 17. Simmons represents another Steve Keim misstep at linebacker. The Cardinals missed on Deone Bucannon (2014) and had slotted Haason Reddick (2017) as an off-ball player for most of his Arizona run. Zaven Collins (2021) has since been moved to the outside. Simmons moved around the Cardinals’ formation, finishing his desert run as a safety.
  • Sean McVay remains the Rams‘ play-caller, but he allowed new OC Mike LaFleur to implement new concepts upon coming over from the Jets. LaFleur added elements from the Jets and 49ers’ offenses that were not previously in the Rams’ scheme, Dan Pompei of The Athletic writes (subscription required). McVay indicated LaFleur — a Shanahan assistant from 2014-20, with the Browns, Falcons and 49ers — has earned the autonomy he received this offseason, when he came to Los Angeles shortly after a Jets separation.

NFL Restructures: 49ers, Humphrey, Barrett, Teller

The NFL has an offseason rule called the Top 51 rule. The Top 51 rule dictates that, from the start of the new NFL league year until the beginning of the regular season, only the top 51 contracts (in terms of salary cap hit) count against a team’s salary cap. With the 2023 regular season starting tomorrow, the Top 51 rule expired at 4pm today.

This means that each team in the NFL was forced to add two more contracts to their salary cap totals. If a team was flirting with the ceiling of the salary cap, the addition of two more contracts may push them above the limit. While that may not have been the case for all of the following teams, these front offices decided to take advantage of the timing to clear up some cap space, according to ESPN’s Field Yates:

  • The 49ers did double-duty, restructuring the contracts of tight end George Kittle and offensive tackle Trent Williams. For Kittle, the team converted $10.57MM of his 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end of the deal, clearing up $8.46MM of cap space. For Williams, San Francisco converted $18.24MM of the left tackle’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, also adding a single void year to the end of the deal. Williams’ adjustment cleared $14.59MM of cap space. The $23.04MM of cap space cleared in the restructures likely had less to do with the Top 51 rule and much more to do with star pass rusher Nick Bosa‘s record-setting extension.
  • The Ravens used the opportunity to adjust star cornerback Marlon Humphrey‘s contract. Baltimore converted $9.42MM of Humphrey’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus and added a single void year to the end of the deal. The adjustment created $7.54MM of cap space for the Ravens.
  • The Seahawks decided to create space by restructuring safety Jamal Adams‘ contract. Seattle converted $9.92MM of Adams’ 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, creating $6.61MM of cap space for the team.
  • The Buccaneers also targeted the contract of a defensive veteran, adjusting the numbers of pass rusher Shaquil Barrett. For Barrett, Tampa Bay converted $13.09MM of his 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end of the contract. The restructure clears up $10.47MM of cap space for the Buccaneers.
  • The Titans also addressed the contract of a pass rusher, restructuring Harold Landry‘s current deal. Tennessee converted $11MM of Landry’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus, clearing up $8.25MM of cap space for the team.
  • The Broncos continue to miss the contributions of wide receiver Tim Patrick, who will once again miss the entire season, but Denver still found some value for him in a contract restructure. The team converted $6MM of Patrick’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus to clear up $3MM of cap space.
  • The Browns created some cap space by restructuring the deal of veteran offensive guard Wyatt Teller. Cleveland converted $11.42MM of Teller’s 2023 base salary into a signing bonus while adding an additional void year to the end his deal in order to create $9.14MM of cap space for the team.

Jamal Adams To Miss Regular-Season Time

Jamal Adams is off the Seahawks’ PUP list, pointing to an early-season return. But that will not come to pass in Week 1. Pete Carroll ruled out the former All-Pro for Seattle’s opener.

The former top-10 pick is on the homestretch of a recovery from a torn quadriceps tendon sustained in the Seahawks’ 2022 season opener. Generally optimistic on the injury front, Carroll said the Seahawks would give the former big-ticket trade acquisition more time. The 14th-year Seattle HC said during a KJR interview Adams could be sidelined multiple games.

On-field preparations for the Seahawks’ opener against the Rams did not include Adams, who is going into his age-28 season. Adams has only participated in walkthroughs since being activated off the active/PUP list on August 24. The former Jets standout has missed 25 games as a Seahawk. The team added insurance, in the form of Julian Love, at the position in free agency. Love joins Adams and Quandre Diggs in comprising the NFL’s most expensive set of safeties.

The Seahawks are hoping to use Adams more near the line of scrimmage, his specialty, while Diggs and Love operate in more traditional safety roles. The team has Diggs tied to a three-year, $39MM accord; Love signed a two-year, $12MM deal in March. Adams’ record-setting deal ($17.5MM AAV) still sits third at the position, two years after it was finalized. The Seahawks have $40.9MM allocated to their safety position on their 2023 cap sheet. No other team’s number crosses $25MM at this position.

Giving up two first-round picks and a 2021 third-rounder in the 2020 Adams swap, the Seahawks have ended up on the losing end of this deal. The Jets used the first-rounders on Alijah Vera-Tucker (via trade-up) and Garrett Wilson. The Seahawks would be hit with $9MM-plus in dead money by designating Adams as a post-June 1 cut in 2024; Adams’ $18.1MM cap hold tops the team’s 2023 payroll. For now, the team will hope to see the seventh-year veteran recapture old form.

Additionally, Carroll said first-round pick Devon Witherspoon is unlikely to begin the season on time, per the Tacoma News-Tribune’s Gregg Bell. The No. 5 overall pick is nursing a hamstring injury. While Carroll ruled out Adams for the opener, he stopped short of confirming the rookie cornerback would be sidelined. Witherspoon is by far the highest corner draftee of the Carroll-John Schneider era. The team had previously never used a first- or second-round pick on that position.

Seahawks Activate S Jamal Adams From Active/PUP List

Jamal Adams missed all but one game last season, but he remains on track to suit up for the start of the 2023 campaign. The Seahawks activated the All-Pro safety from the PUP list on Thursday.

A torn quad tendon suffered in the season opener last year shut Adams down for the remainder of the campaign, and he has been rehabbing the injury every since. The ailment represented a major blow for a player who missed four games in 2020 and five the following season, leaving him sidelined for much of his tenure in Seattle.

Adams will not immediately return to full team drills, per ESPN’s Brady Henderson (Twitter link). That comes as no surprise, given the cautious approach the Seahawks have taken with respect to his rehab process. Taking part in training camp was in question during the spring, but a late-August activation will give the three-time Pro Bowler at least some time to prepare for Week 1 participation.

Retuning to the field, but more importantly, his previous form, would be a sizeable development for the Seahawks’ defense. Seattle struggled against the run last year, and the former Jets first-rounder will help in that regard upon his return. Adams would also provide depth and versatility at the safety spot with incumbent Quandre Diggs and free agent signing Julian Love in the fold as starters. What is already a strong secondary (in large part based on the play of 2022 fifth-round corner Tariq Woolen and the potential of first-round rookie Devon Witherspoon) will be boosted further when Adams is available.

The 27-year-old is on the books through 2025, and his cap burden makes his presence and performance a key storyline to watch moving forward. Adams is set to see his cap hit eclipse the $23MM mark starting next year, although with no guaranteed money due after 2023, his play this season could have major implications on his financial future. In the meantime, he is now clear to begin the next phase of his recovery as he heads toward a highly-anticipated return.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/26/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: WR Cody Chrest
  • Placed on NFI: OT Caleb Jones
  • Waived/injured: WR Jeff Cotton

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Among the additions on today’s list, defensive back A.J. Moore is the most notable. The defensive back spent four years with the Texans to begin his career, compiling 69 tackles in 55 games while primarily playing on special teams. The 27-year-old spent a chunk of last season on the Titans practice squad, and he ultimately got into one game with the big-league club.

Largest 2023 Cap Hits: Defense

While the NFL’s top 2023 cap hits go to players on offense, a number of pass rushers are tied to lofty figures as well. None check in higher than Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Williams and Chiefs D-tackle Chris Jones carry high contract-year cap hits, while the Steelers’ two front-seven cornerstones each are set to go into training camp with cap figures north of $20MM. As the salary cap climbed to $224.8MM this year, here are the top defensive cap figures as camps near:

  1. Leonard Williams, DL (Giants): $32.26MM
  2. T.J. Watt, OLB (Steelers): $29.37MM
  3. Myles Garrett, DE (Browns): $29.18MM
  4. Chris Jones, DT (Chiefs): $28.29MM
  5. Aaron Donald, DL (Rams): $26MM
  6. Arik Armstead, DT (49ers): $23.95MM
  7. Cameron Heyward, DL (Steelers): $22.26MM
  8. C.J. Mosley, LB (Jets): $21.48MM
  9. Jonathan Allen, DT (Commanders): $21.44MM
  10. Shaquil Barrett, OLB (Buccaneers): $21.25MM
  11. Grady Jarrett, DT (Falcons): $20.63MM
  12. Marlon Humphrey, CB (Ravens): $19.99MM
  13. Shaquille Leonard, LB (Colts): $19.79MM
  14. Kevin Byard, S (Titans): $19.62MM
  15. Adoree’ Jackson, CB (Giants): $19.08MM
  16. Harold Landry, OLB (Titans): $18.8MM
  17. Justin Simmons, S (Broncos): $18.15MM
  18. Jamal Adams, S (Seahawks): $18.11MM
  19. Matt Judon, DE (Patriots): $18.107MM
  20. Quandre Diggs, S (Seahawks): $18.1MM
  21. Nick Bosa, DE (49ers): $17.9MM
  22. DeForest Buckner, DT (Colts): $17.25MM
  23. Emmanuel Ogbah, DE (Dolphins): $17.19MM
  24. DeMarcus Lawrence, DE (Cowboys): $17.11MM
  25. Eddie Jackson, S (Bears): $17.1MM

The Chiefs are working toward a second extension agreement with Jones, who is in the final season of a four-year, $80MM contract. A new deal with the star inside pass rusher would free up cap space, and DeAndre Hopkins is believed to be monitoring this situation.

As for Williams, the Giants had wanted to adjust his deal to reduce his eye-opening cap number. As of mid-June, however, no extension appeared to be on the team’s radar. The previous Giants regime signed off on the 2021 Williams extension (three years, $63MM). The Giants are also uninterested — for the time being, at least — in extending Jackson, who was also a Dave Gettleman-era defensive addition.

Donald is in the second season of a three-year, $95MM deal. The Rams gave Donald a landmark raise last year, convincing the all-everything D-tackle to squash retirement talk. A no-trade clause exists in Donald’s contract, which pays out its guarantees this year. Mosley remains tied to the $17MM-per-year deal the Mike Maccagnan regime authorized with the Jets. That contract, which reset the off-ball linebacker market in 2019, still has two seasons remaining on it due to the deal tolling after Mosley’s 2020 COVID-19 opt-out call. The Jets restructured the deal last year.

Washington now has two D-tackles tied to deals of at least $18MM per year. While Daron Payne‘s pact is worth more ($22.5MM AAV), higher cap hits on that deal will come down the road. Three years remain on Allen’s 2021 agreement. At safety, no team is spending like the Seahawks. In addition to the big-ticket deals authorized for Adams and Diggs, Seattle gave ex-Giants starter Julian Love a two-year, $6MM accord in March.

New Titans GM Ran Carthon attempted to give Byard a pay cut. That request did not go over well, but the standout safety remains with the team and has not requested a trade. Tennessee re-signed Landry on a five-year, $87.5MM deal in 2022; the veteran edge rusher has yet to play on that deal due to the ACL tear he sustained just before last season.

The 49ers can bring Bosa’s number down via an extension, which has long been on the team’s docket. As San Francisco extended Deebo Samuel just after training camp began last year, Bosa received back-burner treatment due to the fifth-year option. The star defensive end’s price undoubtedly went up during the waiting period, with the former No. 2 overall pick earning Defensive Player of the Year acclaim in the fourth year of his rookie contract.

Seahawks Rookie CB Devon Witherspoon Competing For Starting Role

The Seahawks return two starting cornerbacks next year in Michael Jackson and Tariq Woolen, as well as Coby Bryant, who started six games as the team’s primary nickel cornerback last year. Still, Seattle decided to draft Illinois’s Devon Witherspoon as the draft’s first cornerback off the board at No. 5 overall. Despite his high draft pedigree, Witherspoon will have to compete with the incumbent starters to establish his role as a rookie.

The team is currently running Witherspoon in the slot with two former college teammates out of Miami (FL) in Jackson and Artie Burns on the outside, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN. Burns is simply filling in for a currently injured Woolen, while Bryant has reportedly been sidelined lately, allowing Witherspoon more time in the slot early.

There are some early ideas out of workouts concerning how the depth chart might shape up. Henderson posits that the team may work with Witherspoon starting on the outside across from a healthy Woolen in base packages. When the defense needs to add an extra defensive back, Witherspoon will shift inside to the slot with Jackson replacing him on the outside.

His spot in the starting lineup isn’t guaranteed, though, as Henderson reports that Jackson is have a strong spring with regular dominant outings in 7-on-7. Jackson was a surprise for the Seahawks’ defense last year, starting every game despite only having appeared in four games in his first three seasons of NFL play before that. Playing alongside the rookies in what was perhaps the league’s least-experienced cornerbacks group, Jackson was third on the team with 75 total tackles, adding an interception, 12 passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown. If he continues to impress throughout the summer, it’s not out of the question that he may retain a starting role.

In that case, Witherspoon will likely start games at nickelback and rotate in when needed on the outside. In situations when a slot corner is needed while Witherspoon is outside, Seattle can go back to Bryant or even turn to safety Julian Love, who has experience working in the slot, as well. He hasn’t been working at the position much lately, though, as the team has opted to keep Love working at safety, in case Jamal Adams‘s return to the field takes longer than anticipated, but Love does have the requisite experience.

So for now, the depth chart appears to have Woolen and Witherspoon as the top outside options with Jackson and Burns behind them, though Jackson has a chance to retain his starting spot by continuing to impress. At the slot, Witherspoon should be the first option, moving out of his outside position, with Bryant and, potentially, Love behind him. The most experienced members of the position room, Burns and Love, are contributing as depth pieces in what is expected to continue being one of the youngest cornerbacks rooms in the league.

Latest On Seahawks S Jamal Adams

Jamal Adams continues to recover from a torn quad that limited him to only one game in 2022. While the Seahawks sound hopeful that he’ll be good to go for the regular season, general manager John Schneider cautioned that the safety may not be ready for training camp.

“He’s working his tail off,” Schneider said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show (via Twitter). “We want to be really careful with this. It’s been two years in a row where he’s been banged up now. … We want to be really careful with his progression. So training camp, I’m just not sure. We’ll see where he is when he comes into the OTAs.”

Adams has dealt with a number of injuries since the Seahawks acquired him from the Jets back in 2020. He still earned a second-team All-Pro nod during his first season in Seattle despite missing four games. His 2021 season then ended early when he suffered a torn labrum, and his 2022 campaign was wiped out thanks to the torn quad.

As a result, it’s not too surprising that both Adams and the organization are proceeding with caution. Adams still has three years remaining on the record-breaking four-year, $72MM deal he signed with the Seahawks in 2021, although the front office does have some flexibility to get out of the deal next offseason.

As a result of that hefty commitment, Adams’ continued injuries, and the organization’s acquisition of Julian Love, there were some pundits who wondered if Seattle could look to move on from the star defensive back. However, Pete Carroll was quick to dismiss the notion that Adams, Love, and Quandre Diggs couldn’t coexist.

“I know there’s some conversation that what we did with Julian, does that have some impact on Jamal or Quandre — it doesn’t,” Carroll said back in March (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “We have a clear thought of what we’re going to do with our guys and how we want to play them and we feel very fortunate to have all our guys.”

Seahawks Withdraw Ryan Neal’s RFA Tender

Before they signed Julian Love, the Seahawks extended a restricted free agent tender to Ryan Neal. With Love now forming a trio with safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, the Seahawks are moving on from Neal.

Seattle rescinded Neal’s RFA tender Friday afternoon, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). This will make Neal an unrestricted free agent. The four-year Seahawk is coming off a season in which he started a career-high 10 games.

Neal will almost certainly generate immediate interest on the open market. Pro Football Focus graded his 2022 work quite well, slotting the 6-foot-3 cover man as the No. 4 overall safety last season. Neal, 27, made 66 tackles (four for loss), deflected eight passes an intercepted another during a season in which the Seahawks played 16 games without Adams. PFF graded Neal as the No. 3 overall safety in coverage last season, which represented by far his most favorable marks from the advanced metrics site.

The Seahawks gave Neal the low-end tender, which cost them $2.63MM. The team will pick up that cap space but part with Neal, who could be a candidate to land elsewhere as a starter. The transaction will bump Seattle’s cap space past $8MM. A Southern Illinois alum, Neal started 19 games with the Seahawks from 2020-22. With the new money, the Seahawks should be expected to look into more D-line additions, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com tweets.

During the parties’ in-season negotiations, the Giants offered Love more money than he ultimately received from the Seahawks, per The Athletic’s Dan Duggan (subscription required). But the breakout starter passed and ended up with Seattle on a two-year, $12MM deal. Love agreed to terms with the Seahawks three days after they tendered Neal as an RFA.

With Love in the fold, Henderson notes the Seahawks are planning to use Adams more at the line of scrimmage. The former Jets All-Pro will work as a pseudo-linebacker more often, per Henderson, opening the door for Adams, Diggs and Love to see the field together. Box work has generally been best for the aggressive defender, who makes his living in that capacity rather than as a pure coverage player. Adams set a safety record with 9.5 sacks in 2020 but did not register any in 2021.

Even with this tender off the books, the Seahawks are set to allocate an NFL-leading $41MM at the safety position. They will count on Adams, who has missed extensive time due to injuries over the past two seasons, staying healthy to justify the cost. It will be interesting to see where Neal lands.