Jamal Adams

NFC West Notes: Rams, Hopkins, Seahawks

Coming off disappointing seasons, the Cardinals and Rams may be looking to make high-profile cost cuts. DeAndre Hopkins and Jalen Ramsey may well be available in trades, with the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora noting deals involving the two former All-Pros will come down to “when” and they are moved and not “if.” Both Ramsey and Hopkins have already been traded, each moving from the AFC South to the NFC West — Ramsey in 2019 and Hopkins in 2020. Although Ramsey required two first-round picks to be pried from Jacksonville, La Canfora adds neither player should be expected to bring in the kind of haul fans would anticipate.

Both talents are signed to lucrative extensions. Ramsey’s five-year, $100MM deal (which set the cornerback market in 2020) runs through 2025. Hopkins’ $27.25MM contract runs through 2024. Ramsey, 28, should be expected to command more in a trade compared to Hopkins, 30. Coming off a suspension- and injury-limited 2022, latter has been rumored to be a possible trade chip. Several teams called the Cardinals on Hopkins at the deadline. Ramsey, however, has been a dependable piece in L.A. His exit would leave the Rams vulnerable at corner, considering they have rotated low-cost pieces around Ramsey at the position for years.

A Ramsey trade before June 1 is not especially palatable for the Rams, who are again projected to enter the offseason over the cap. Dealing the All-Pro talent after that date, however, would save the team $17MM. The Rams having not restructured Ramsey’s deal makes a trade something to monitor, The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes (subscription required). Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • This season’s Rams staff did not particularly appeal to Sean McVay by season’s end, Peter King of NBC Sports notes. Upon returning, McVay is expected to make staff changes. This may have been behind the Rams’ call to allow their position coaches to interview for other jobs without the threat of blocking the meeting. Whatever the reason, the Rams’ staff should look different in 2023. McVay also likely has a bit of regret of not taking a major TV job last year, per King, who adds no top-level gig was on the table for the six-year Rams HC this year.
  • The Rams will attempt to extend one of their UFA-to-be D-line starters (A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines), Rodrigue adds, but probably will not keep both. A former sixth-round pick who has started for the past two seasons, Gaines appears likelier — per Rodrigue — to be the team’s higher priority. Robinson’s expected market value could price out the Rams, who have Aaron Donald making a cool $10MM more than any other interior D-lineman.
  • Jamal Adams, who suffered a torn quad tendon in Week 1, remains without a timetable, Pete Carroll said this week. Jordyn Brooks‘ ACL surgery is scheduled for Friday. The late-season ACL tear will make top Seahawks tackler a candidate to begin next season on the PUP list. Surgery could be in the cards for tight end Will Dissly, but he will first attempt to rehab his knee injury without a procedure (Twitter links via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta).
  • Despite issues in the first season under DC Clint Hurtt, the Seahawks are planning neither staff changes nor a move back to a 4-3 defense, Carroll said. Seattle, which brought in Hurtt and ex-Bears DC Sean Desai to install a Vic Fangio-style scheme, finished outside the top 20 in yards, points and DVOA this season.
  • The second-team All-Pro nod 49ers special-teamer George Odum received will increase his 2023 base salary by $250K, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Odum, who signed with the 49ers in 2022 after a Colts tenure, will also collect a $250K incentive for the All-Pro nod. Odum led the league with 21 special teams tackles. Attached to a three-year deal worth $5.7MM, Odum has become one of the NFL’s best special-teamers. He earned first-team All-Pro acclaim in 2020.

Seahawks’ Jamal Adams To Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

The quadriceps injury Jamal Adams suffered early in Week 1 will end his season. The veteran safety plans to undergo surgery to repair a torn quad tendon, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

Adams sought additional opinions from doctors this week, but the conclusion will bring a quick end to the former All-Pro defender’s sixth NFL season. The Seahawks will move Adams to IR, and Rapoport adds they are signing cornerback Teez Tabor off the Falcons’ practice squad (Twitter link).

This deals the Seahawks’ defense a major blow, and it continues a string of Adams unavailability since he was traded to Seattle in 2020. Adams, however, only missed four and five games, respectively, during the 2020 and ’21 seasons. This will be new territory. He played 15 snaps against the Broncos. Adams only missed two games during his three-season Jets tenure.

With Jets contract negotiations not progressing, the Seahawks stepped in with a monster trade offer to acquire the former top-10 pick. The Seahawks sent two first-round choices, a third-rounder and veteran safety Bradley McDougald to the Jets for Adams. After playing a fourth season on his rookie contract, Adams cashed in last year. The Seahawks’ decision to trade for the acclaimed blitzer and give him a then-market-topping extension has backfired to this point.

Adams’ $17.5MM extension last summer topped the safety market by more than $2MM (AAV-wise). Although Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James have since surpassed that deal, Adams is the highest-paid defender on Seattle’s defense and — post-Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner — the second-highest-paid player on the team. Seattle re-signed Quandre Diggs this offseason, giving the franchise two of the league’s top-10 highest-paid safeties. Diggs will have to go it alone for the season’s remainder.

While Adams is not regarded as a high-quality cover man, the Seahawks put him to work as a hybrid player over his first two seasons. After a 6.5-sack 2019 season with the Jets — an All-Pro campaign — Adams set a safety record with 9.5 sacks in his first Seahawks season, helping the team to the playoffs. Adams did not record a sack in 2021. Injuries have dogged him for much of his Pacific Northwest stay, however. Two shoulder surgeries have occurred since Adams arrived in Seattle, and he underwent multiple finger operations this offseason. The LSU alum’s finger issues have left him no longer able to make a fist with his left hand, and Adams said his shoulder trouble had him playing “with one arm for damn near two years.”

The Adams contract runs through 2025. He is due an $11MM base salary in 2023 and is in line to count $18.1MM on Seattle’s cap next year. Adams, 26, counts just $9.1MM this year. His 2024 and ’25 cap numbers come in at $23.6MM and $24.6MM, respectively.

Seahawks S Jamal Adams Suffers Quadriceps Injury

12:06pm: Carroll indicated that Adams will need to “get some work done” as a result of the injury (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero). Carroll also said, “I know it’s serious and it just breaks your heart,” pointing to a lengthy (if not season-ending) absence for the safety.

11:11am: The Seahawks’ surprise victory last night appears to have come at a significant cost. Safety Jamal Adams suffered a quadriceps injury in the second quarter which led to him being carted off the field. 

“His quadricep tendon I think got damaged some tonight,” head coach Pete Carroll said after the game, via ESPN’s Brady Henderson“He got hurt. So it’s a serious injury.”

Adams has yet to play a full season since being traded to Seattle by the Jets in the 2020 offseason. A groin injury limited him to 12 games played in his first Seahawks season, one in which he earned a third straight Pro Bowl nod with 9.5 sacks. That performance was an encouraging sign for himself and the team, after Adams signed a four-year, $70MM deal which was a record for safeties at the time upon his arrival in the Emerald City.

The 2021 campaign was much different in terms of production, though. Adams failed to record a sack for the first time in his career, as his defensive responsibilities were altered. He did manage a pair of interceptions, but was once again sidelined by an injury. The second shoulder injury Adams suffered in the span of less than one calendar year ended his campaign in December.

Between that point and the beginning of the 2022 regular season, the former sixth overall pick also underwent finger surgeries, adding to his total number of ailments. If this latest injury is indeed serious, it would represent another blow to his Seahawks tenure, and leave the team without its highest-paid defender. Adams and Quandre Diggs – who inked a three-year, $40MM contract this offseason – were in line to operate as the anchors of Seattle’s secondary, one which includes a number of new faces at cornerback.

Josh Jones took over for Adams following the injury, and made seven total tackles during last night’s game. The 27-year-old journeyman was a second-round pick of the Packers, but also spent time with the Cowboys, Jaguars and Colts before joining the Seahawks last season. He has 26 starts to his name, a total which could stand to increase if Adams misses significant time.

NFL Injury Updates: Woods, Patrick, Adams, Stingley

With Tennessee trading wide receiver A.J. Brown during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft in order to select Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks, the Titans will now look to former Bills and Rams wide receiver Robert Woods to serve as the team’s No. 1 receiving option. This puts lots of pressure on Woods as he continues to recover from a torn ACL suffered in practice last November

While Woods was acquired for a sixth-round pick and Burks was acquired with a first (via the Brown-trade), Woods nine years as a starter and veteran experience places him atop the depth chart over the rookie, Burks, for now. Woods had been experiencing a run of the best football of his career over the last four years. Since 2018, Woods has recorded season receiving totals of 1,219 yards, 1,134 yards, and 936 yards, all higher than any totals from his first five years in the league. He also reached six receiving touchdowns twice in that span, setting new career highs there, as well. At a pace of 61.78 receiving yards per game before his injury last year, Woods was set for his third 1,000-yard season in four years, and, with five total touchdowns, was on pace to set a new career high in scoring, as well.

The good news is that Woods has been full-go at Titans camp so far this month, according to Ben Arthur of The Tennessean. Not only is Woods out there taking live reps at practice, but he’s using the off-periods to work with quarterback Ryan Tannehill on timing and chemistry.

“It’s strong enough. It’s repaired. It’s healed,” Woods said in regards to his knee. “So my mentality going out here and practicing is push it and go. You almost want to like push it to the limit and see what you can do and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Here are a few more injury updates from around the NFL this preseason, starting with an update out of the Windy City:

  • It appears that Bears center Lucas Patrick will require surgery on his right hand, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The former Packer is expected to start for new Chicago offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, as he did during their time together in Green Bay. While surgery will take him out of the lineup for a few weeks, the hope is that, by treating it this early in training camp, Patrick will be able to possibly return before the season opener.
  • While it was originally expected that Seahawks safety Jamal Adams would miss time while dealing with previous hand injuries, further reports reveal that he is expected to return to practice soon, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Adams has been dealing with finger injuries for quite some time and, recently, broke a finger when it got stuck in a helmet during practice. Any surgery that may be required will be pushed to the offseason and, for now, he will return to the field “with a club and a special cast for games.”
  • The Texans’ No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., is attempting to bounce back from nagging injuries that limited him to only 10 games of action in his final two years of college. Houston was impressed enough with his freshman year numbers of six interceptions and 21 passes defensed to make him the first cornerback off the board from an impressive group of defensive backs. They also are hoping his injury woes have ended as head coach Lovie Smith said he expects the 21-year-old to be ready for the regular season opener, according to Mark Berman of Fox Sports.

Injury Updates: Packers, Seahawks, Jaguars, Colts, Giants

Packers second-round wide receiver Christian Watson was placed on the PUP before training camp opened, and ESPN’s Rob Demovsky writes that the rookie could miss a chunk of training camp. Watson continues to recover from minor knee surgery that took place following minicamp.

“I think there was kind of a thought process [of] do you want to try to push through the season and finish this after the (2022) season or should we just go ahead and do it now?” said Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said. “And we just did it now. So he’ll miss a little bit of time in camp, but it’s nothing long term.

“When we invest what we invested in Christian, we’re obviously looking out for the long term. We always do. He’s a young player who’s got a big career ahead of him, so we want to make sure we protect that. It’ll be how he responds through the rehab. As soon as he’s ready, we’ll get him out there.”

The Packers used the No. 34 pick on the rookie wideout. This naturally led to high expectations for the wideout, especially with Davante Adams out of the picture. The rookie has had only three opportunities to practice with Aaron Rodgers, and the wideout will miss out on chances to click with his QB during the early parts of training camp.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Seahawks safety Jamal Adams underwent left shoulder surgery for the second-straight year, but he also underwent multiple finger surgeries during the offseason. Adams will be sidelined for “some time” while he gets his previously-injured hand checked out, coach Pete Carroll told ESPN’s Brady Henderson (Twitter link). “Yesterday his hand just wasn’t right, so he’s getting some opinions about it,” the coach said.
  • Jaguars running back James Robinson didn’t start training camp on PUP, but he won’t be a full participant right away, tweets ESPN’s Michael DiRocco (on Twitter). The hope is that Robinson will be fully cleared to participate in games by mid-August, meaning he could be active for the start of the regular season. Robinson tore his Achilles in Week 16 of the 2021 campaign, putting his early-season availability in doubt. Meanwhile, DiRocco notes that linebacker Devin Lloyd tweaked his hamstring during a conditioning test and will be sidelined for a few days.
  • Colts All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard (previously Darius Leonard) was placed on PUP following offseason back surgery. The intent of the procedure was to relieve pressure on nerves in his back, and there was hope the surgery would also improve “functionality issues” in his left leg. Fortunately, Leonard said he immediately noticed a positive difference following the operation, and he said he’s focused on his rehab as training camp starts. “I’m not putting a timetable on it, but when I’m ready, you’ll see me on the field after that,” Leonard said (via Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star). “I’m ready to continue with my rehab, I’m happy with where I’m at right now, and hopefully we’ll continue to go forward with this process.”
  • Giants wideout Sterling Shepard was placed on PUP as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles. According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, the goal is for Shepard to be ready for the start of the regular season, but it’s still unclear if the receiver will be ready by then. Offensive lineman Nick Gates is also on PUP as he recovers from a lower-leg fracture suffered last September. Duggan passes along that coach Brian Daboll was “surprisingly optimistic” about the status of the OL, revealing that there’s no guarantee that Gates will be forced to miss any time.

Seahawks S Jamal Adams Underwent Offseason Finger Surgeries

Jamal Adams underwent left shoulder surgery for the second straight year, after suffering another labrum tear. But the Seahawks safety’s offseason operation schedule was a bit more complex.

Similar to Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport, Adams underwent multiple finger surgeries during the offseason, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com notes. Adams said he expects to be ready for training camp, but he has dealt with extensive discomfort in recent seasons.

The two procedures addressed issues with his middle and ring fingers, which the former top-10 pick said he began dislocating in 2020. The surgeries left Adams’ fingers fused to the point he can no longer make a fist with his left hand, Henderson adds. Citing the shoulder and finger issues, Adams said he has played “with one arm for damn near two years.”

Been going through that for two years now,” Adams said of his finger injuries. “My first year when I got here, I dislocated by ring finger probably about 10 times and the other one probably about … 12. Been dealing with that. Ain’t really said much. Let everybody talk about it, whatever. But it’s good now, and they’re in trouble.”

Adams did not participate much in the Seahawks’ training camp last year, staging a “hold-in” effort while in contract talks. The Seahawks rewarded the former Jets standout with a then-safety-record four-year, $70MM deal — a contract that affected the Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick negotiations. But Adams did not deliver much in the way of production last season. After setting another safety record (for sacks, with 9.5) in 2020, Adams went sackless in 12 2021 games. While that normally would not be worth mentioning from a safety, sacks and backfield disruption represent a big part of Adams’ game.

Some within the Seahawks saw Adams’ 2021 blitzes as too predictable, leading teams to catch on and the Seahawks to dial back his pressure opportunities. Adams’ quarterback-hit totals dropped from 14 in 2020 — also a 12-game season for him — to two last year. Pro Football Focus rated Adams outside the top 60 safeties last season. Pete Carroll and new defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt are planning more pre-snap disguising for Adams and Quandre Diggs this year, per Henderson.

Bengals Use Franchise Tag On Jessie Bates

MONDAY: The team made it official, announcing a tag for Bates. The fifth-year safety will be tied to a $12.911MM salary if he plays the season on the tag. Bates said last month he would be disappointed if tagged, but he and the Bengals now have four-plus months to negotiate an extension.

SATURDAY: Despite working over the past two years towards a contract extension, it appears Bengals’ safety Jessie Bates is destined to play out the 2022 NFL season under the franchise tag. Bates and the Bengals won’t give up on attempts to reach a long-term deal, but they will do so with the tag acting as a failsafe, according to Tyler Dragon of USA Today. 

As a second-round pick out of Wake Forest in the 2018 NFL Draft, Bates has been everything the Bengals have asked for and more. He quickly earned a starting role as a rookie and recorded three interceptions in each of his first three NFL seasons, ending the 2020 season as Pro Football Focus’ top ranked safety. His play dipped a bit this past year, but, when his team needed him in the playoffs, Bates stepped up recording two interceptions, one in Super Bowl LVI.

Now Bates is set to extend his current contract, play the 2022 season under the franchise tag, or hit the open market. Franchises patiently waiting for him to become a free agent will likely be disappointed. Bates and Cincinnati both intend for the safety to stay long-term.

Bates has shown much frustration over the past two years, fearing the unpredictability that comes with a franchise tag. “Hopefully, I’m not under a franchise tag,” Bates said in an appearance on NFL Network. “That’s something that needs to be discussed as NFLPA a little bit. Some of the top guys got hurt under a franchise tag. It’s tough; you only get one shot at this.”

With three days until the franchise tag deadline, the Bengals are playing it safe and making sure that they have a bit of extra time. After the franchise tag window closes, the team will have nearly five more months to finalize a deal with Bates. The tag is expected to pay around $13.54MM for the 2022 season.

Bates has long said that he is not overly concerned with “the ego part of being the highest-paid safety.” The highest-paid safeties currently are Jamal Adams, Harrison Smith, and Justin Simmons. Adams is a strong safety that plays all over the field and gets compensated more in the realm of a well-paid linebacker, making him the top-earning safety in the league at an average of $17.5MM per year. Smith is a strong safety that plays a more traditional safety position than Adams. He signed an impressive four-year, $64MM deal averaging $16MM per year at the ripe old age of 31 years old. Simmons is the league’s top-earning free safety. After playing out two consecutive seasons under the franchise tag, Simmons signed a four-year, $61MM deal averaging $15.25MM per year at 27 years of age. Bates is likely aiming for the $15-16MM per year range or is maybe willing to take $14-15MM per year for an extra year or two under contract.

At 25, Bates is in a similar position as Simmons was when he received his first franchise tag. There’s no doubt that Bates could absolutely increase the value of his deal after playing under the franchise tag like Simmons did, but Bates’ concerns over the lack of security provided by the tag aren’t unfounded. Both sides will continue working towards an agreement that keeps the safety in Cincinnati long-term with the compensation and security he desires. Until that time, though, Bates will have the franchise tag hanging over his 2022 season.

Mutual Interest For Derwin James Extension

Chargers’ safety Derwin James is currently set to head into the fifth year of his rookie contract, after the team exercised his fifth-year option in April of last year. According to Tyler Dragon of USA Today, there’s mutual interest in getting a long-term extension done, but negotiations will not start until the summer. 

James was a first-round draft pick for the Chargers in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Florida State prospect shot out of a cannon finishing second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting and being announced as a first-team All-Pro and a Pro Bowler in his rookie season. His sophomore season was cut short after having surgery due to a stress fracture in his right foot. His 2020 NFL season got cut short before it even started with James suffering a torn meniscus a week before the team’s season opener. James made his long-anticipated return to the gridiron this past season, returning to form while making his second Pro Bowl team and finishing third in Comeback Player of the Year voting.

James’ numbers won’t pop out at you. Even when only looking at his two full seasons of play, his totals of 5 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 5.5 sacks, and 11.0 tackles for loss over two years won’t rank anywhere near the top of any position groups. While the Chargers list him as a safety, his role is much closer to a glorified linebacker. When healthy, James will absolutely be one of the team’s top tacklers. He has a nose for the football and can find his way to the ball-carrier effectively. And, while not elite in any of the above statistical categories, his ability to cover, force turnovers, rush the passer, and make plays behind the line of scrimmage make him a valuable asset to the Los Angeles defense. It is truly his versatility they value.

It is this same versatility that makes a contract discussion for James a troubling concept. Do they pay James like a top-tier strong safety or shell out a little extra to pay him like a top tier linebacker?

The top safeties in the game, that don’t play exclusively in a free safety role, are players like Budda Baker ($14.75MM aav), John Johnson ($11.25MM aav), and Micah Hyde ($9.63MM aav). The top linebackers in the game, that aren’t pass-rushing specialists, are players like Darius Leonard ($19.7MM aav), Bobby Wagner ($18MM aav), and C.J. Mosley ($17MM aav). So, obviously, if you were going to pay him like you play him, James’ extension numbers should be closer to the $17-20MM per year range than the $9-15MM per year range.

Luckily, there is a very similar player in the NFL who has set a precedent for James and the Chargers to work off of: Seahawks’ safety Jamal Adams. Adams doesn’t play the field like a normal safety, either. He only has four career interceptions to his name. He does tend to make more plays on the ball when it’s in the air totaling 33 passes defended over five seasons. Adams also tends to get to the quarterback and make plays in the backfield more often than James. In 2019 & 2020 alone, Adams racked up 16.0 sacks and 21.0 tackles for loss, contributing to his career totals of 21.5 and 43.0 respectively.

As of right now, if the Chargers were to offer James an extension before he plays out his fifth-year option, I would expect the offer to look a bit like a watered-down-version of Adams’ deal. Upon finishing his first season in Seattle after being traded from the Jets to the Seahawks, Adams signed a four-year deal worth $70MM, averaging $17.5MM per year. Based off of Adams’ deal, I would expect Los Angeles to offer James a three- to four-year deal in the range of $12-15MM per year. James’ injury history will likely keep him from reaching the top-tier numbers of Adams.

That being said, with James lacking the statistical output in college, as well, the Chargers did draft him largely based off of his potential. With injuries keeping James from fully displaying his abilities over the past four years, maybe the Chargers will have much more faith in him than he’s been able to show thus far. They value him as a player and a leader, making him a team captain this past season. Perhaps they will offer him a long-term contract that reflects that.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/10/21

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Seahawks’ Jamal Adams Done For Season

Less than a year after undergoing surgery to repair a torn shoulder labrum, Jamal Adams is set for a similar rehab odyssey in 2022. The Seahawks safety is out for the season after his second major left shoulder injury in 11 months, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

In addition to another labrum tear, Adams sustained significant damage in that left shoulder during Seattle’s Week 13 win over San Francisco. He will undergo surgery Thursday, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets, noting that the fifth-year veteran considered a non-surgical route this week before opting to go under the knife. While the high-priced defender is expected to recover fully by the start of next season, this certainly marks another blow for a Seahawks slate that has skidded off track.

Adams went down during the second quarter of the Seahawks’ 30-23 win. Fourth-year UDFA Ryan Neal replaced him and will be in line to do so again when the Seahawks face the Texans this week. Adams had not missed a game this season.

The Seahawks gave the former Jets top-10 pick a four-year, $70MM extension this summer. He has not been used to rush the passer in the same capacity he was in the recent past. After setting a safety record with 9.5 sacks in 2020, Adams will finish his second Seahawks season with zero. He did record multiple interceptions for the first time in his career, grabbing two, and made 87 tackles in 12 games this year.

Adams’ absence stands to weaken a Seahawks defense and potentially impact the Jets’ 2022 draft. The teams’ summer 2020 trade sent Seattle’s first-round picks in 2021 and ’22 to New York. While the Seahawks are not yet out of the running for a wild-card spot, their pick could end up in the top 10 for the first time since 2010.