The good news for the Seattle Seahawks is Jamal Adams is under contract for the next two seasons, but the safety market continues to go up. Cardinals star Budda Baker signed a four-year, $59 million contract extension making him the highest-paid safety in NFL history, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Arizona is making 24-year-old, two-time, Pro-Bowl selection Budda Baker the highest-paid safety in the NFL history, giving him a four-year, $59 million contract extension ($14.75M average per year), sources tell ESPN,” Schefter tweeted. “Asked about the deal, agent @DavidMulugheta confirmed it.”
Part of the tension with the Jets was Adams’ desire to be the highest-paid safety in the NFL. The trade to the Seahawks has not changed Adams’ desire, but so far the safety has been willing to play in Seattle on his current deal. Adams still has two years remaining on his current contract with the Seahawks.
Adams’ salary for the upcoming season counts for just over $3.5 million against the cap, per Spotrac. The safety is slated to make $9.8 million in 2021, the final year of his deal. After the Seahawks-Jets trade, Schefter reported that Adams’ desire to be the highest-paid safety remained the same. It is a number now that has gone up given Baker’s new deal. Adams reacted to being a trending topic after Baker’s deal was finalized.
“I didn’t know I was going to be trending,” Adams noted on ESPN’s NFL Live, via 247Sports.com. “I saw that he did get paid, and I’m happy for Budda. We have a good relationship, seeing each other at the Pro Bowl and whatnot. I’m happy for him. It’s not about me. I don’t like the fact that I was trending during his day. It’s a big day, and I don’t want to take anything from him. Hats off to him, and it’s nothing but love.”
Adams’ New Annual Salary Is Projected to be $16 Million
According to Sports Illustrated’s Corbin Smith, Baker’s contract may not have much of an impact on Adams as the new Seahawks safety is likely to command a higher salary. Smith believes Adams’ new deal will land the safety an average annual salary of $16 million.
“This doesn’t really move needle much for highest paid safety,” Smith tweeted. “Adams will likely push for $16 million APY or more and would have regardless of Baker’s extension.”
Adams on Seahawks: ‘The Plan Is to Retire Here’
Adams has been mostly quiet about his contract situation since arriving in Seattle. When asked about his contract, Adams declined to go into detail during his initial press conference with the Seahawks. The safety later admitted that his plan is to retire with the Seahawks.
“The plan is to retire here,” Adams noted, per Seahawks.com. “That is my plan. Obviously, those things handle themselves, all you have to do is go on the field and perform, do the right things on and off the field, and those things will take care of themselves. I’m very excited to be here, I know the rest of the guys are excited to have me, the coaching staff and everybody else, so we’ll worry about that when the time comes.”
It remains to be seen how the Seahawks will respond to Adams’ desire, but Seattle did not give up two first-round picks without a long-term plan for their new safety. Baker’s new deal has reset the safety market as Adams’ price tag continues to rise. After the trade, Pete Carroll discussed the Seahawks’ decision to give up so much for Adams.
“We haven’t drafted above 25 for what—10 years?” Carroll explained to NBC Sports’ Peter King. “So we haven’t had a shot at a top-10 pick in a while, and we haven’t had a shot at a top safety in the draft since Earl. This was an extraordinary opportunity for us. Jamal’s a legitimate impact player, in the style we love.”