It has been almost one week since two-time Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams officially requested a trade from the New York Jets. The motivation behind the trade talks stems from ongoing issues over compensation and a long-term deal over the last several seasons. While Adams may be willing to explore new options and take a minor pay cut in the short-term, whoever signs the defensive back is going to have to shell out quite a payday to keep him for a few years.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler stated last week that at least one team that’s looked into Adams believes the All-Pro is looking to be paid more than $20 million per season. This would automatically launch him into the category of one of the top defensive players in the NFL (which he has earned on the field).
What is interesting though, is not a single safety cracks the $15M annually. Bears safety Eddie Jackson ranks as the highest-paid at the position, making $14.6M. Here we are, a week after initial news broke, and you can see why Adams asking for $20M/yr is definitely an eyebrow-raiser.
There are a few defensive players in the league that make more than $20M a year: Bears linebacker Khalil Mack ($23.5M), Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($22.5M), Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence ($21M), new Colts defensive end DeForest Buckner ($21M) and Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark ($20.8M). No safety or even defensive back makes that list. The safety position would need an entire reset in order for Adams to receive the money he is seeking.
New York has stated repeatedly that they do not intend to trade the star safety. Where things get hairy is that Adams has had issues with the fact that Jets GM Joe Douglas listened to trade offers for him during the 2019 season while also saying they (the Jets) will not negotiate a long-term deal until after the 2020 season. New York is still in control of Adams for another two years.