More than a week after making reportedly a final offer to the fifth-year safety and with no plans to budge, a league source tells PFT that the team is truly done negotiating with Adams. They believe they’re made a fair and appropriate offer, and that if he doesn’t want to accept it, he can play out his option year and get franchise-tagged twice, for 2022 and 2023.
The Seahawks also are learning that which the Jets concluded before trading him last year — he’s not easily manageable. Or, as the case may be, not manageable at all.
Seattle believes it treats players properly, that it pays them the appropriate amounts. They’ve reached the point where they’ve decided to let it play out one year at a time with Adams, more than confident that when push comes to shove he will show up and play.
Those familiar with Adams from his time with the Jets aren’t surprised. The Jets traded him in part because they believed they couldn’t reason with him. And by giving up a pair of first-round picks in trade for him without signing him to a new deal, the Seahawks were inheriting a potential if not inevitable impasse.
As recently noted, Adams will make $9.86 million this year under the fifth-year option. The franchise tag for safeties is projected to be $13.5 million in 2022. That then becomes a franchise tag in 2023 of $16.26 million. The Seahawks are presently content to pay him one year at a time, with the understanding that, after three years, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent. (They could still apply the transition tag in 2024, at a 20-percent raise over his 2023 salary. That would preserve their right to match any offer sheet he signs with a new team. A third franchise tag would become far too expensive, since it spikes to basically the quarterback tag.)
This doesn’t mean the Seahawks can’t or won’t change their minds. For now, however, they’re content to move forward. At some point, they’ll need to communicate to Adams, who has been out of team drills with the team’s consent, that the time has come to start practicing and otherwise preparing for Week One, against the Colts.
It’s possible that Adams will simply decide to accept the long-term financial security the Seahawks are offering. A major injury in 2021, for example, would cap his guaranteed earnings at $9.86 million. However, Adams is as stubborn as he is talented. There’s no reason to think he’ll blink. Although the Seahawks seem to think he’ll cooperate with the one-year-at-a-time approach, it remains to be seen how he reacts once it becomes clear that, if he doesn’t take their last, best offer, there won’t be a long-term deal.