When the NFL draft concluded April 30, it put the finishing touches on the first chapter of the Jamal Adams trade.
There are many more to be written.
But the draft meant that we now know all of the players each team got out of the deal.
So, let’s recap.
Seattle received Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022, that turned out to be No. 109, which the Seahawks used on cornerback Coby Bryant of Cincinnati, the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the best defensive back in college football in 2021.
The Jets received Bradley McDougald, first-round picks in 2021 and 2022 and a third-round pick in 2022.
The Jets used the two picks in 2021 to move up from 23 — Seattle’s spot — to 14 in a trade with the Vikings and take offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC.
Minnesota used those two picks to take left tackle Christian Darrisaw of Virginia Tech at 23 and guard Wyatt Davis of Ohio State at 86.
The Jets then used the first-round pick they got from Seattle this year to take receiver Garrett Wilson of Ohio State.
So, you can look at this trade two ways — simply what the Seahawks and Jets ended up getting out of it, or forget about New York’s trade with Minnesota and just consider what Seattle could have gotten with what would have been its picks.
What the Jets ended up with is Vera-Tucker, Wilson and McDougald while Seattle got Adams and Bryant.
Maybe Seattle makes different picks than the teams that held those selections did, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s assume the picks are the same. So, the Seahawks could have had Darrisaw, Davis and Wilson as well as the 2020 season of McDougald if they hadn’t made the deal. Well, all of that plus a lot more cap space going forward, as what also factors in is the huge contract the Seahawks ended up handing Adams, which was a given from the minute the trade was made in July 2020.
Seattle signed Adams last August to a four-year deal worth an average of $17.5 million per season, a contract that truly kicks in this year with a cap hit of $9.1 million that then increases the next three years to $18.1 million, $23.6 million and $24.6 million, respectively.
There’s no guaranteed money in the final two years of the deal, however, so if Seattle wanted to get out of the contract it could following the 2023 season, having paid Adams what would be $46.4 million for three years when he would be 29.
The pick Seattle got back was easily viewed at the time as a throw-in that turned into Bryant and could also be pretty significant — he’ll have every chance to earn a starting job right away.
As for what the Jets got:
- McDougald played just seven games before going on IR in a year in which he made $4.06 million on the last year of a contract he had signed with Seattle. After a brief stint last year with Tennessee (including playing against the Seahawks in Week 2) he is not currently on a roster;
- Vera-Tucker, who played left tackle his final season at USC, was moved to left guard by the Jets and started 16 games. He was ranked second among rookie guards by Pro Football Focus and had the 10th-best overall run blocking grade of any guard. That the Jets moved him to guard, though, has had some questioning the pick despite the fact he played well last year — only 11 players listed as guards have been drafted in the first round since 2012.
- Wilson was the second receiver taken in this year’s draft after USC’s Drake London at No. 8 to Atlanta, and how he performs will likely now be the ultimate determiner of the success of this deal from New York’s standpoint.
As for who the Vikings took with the two picks that were originally Seattle’s:
- Rehabbing from surgery limited Darrisaw to 10 games as a rookie. But he played well down the stretch and appears to be a potential anchor at left tackle for the Vikings for years to come;
- Davis, meanwhile, struggled to earn a role as a rookie and did not play a single offensive snap in 2021, though he did play in six games on special teams.
Regardless of how the other pieces involved in the trade perform, the ultimate legacy of this deal for the Seahawks is what Adams does for Seattle, especially considering the hefty financial investment involved, which obviously limits other moves the team can make the next few years.
The trade looked like a worthy risk when Adams had 9.5 sacks in 2020, the most for any defensive back in NFL history (since sacks became an official stat in 1982), and Seattle went 12-4, tied for the third-best record in team history.
But last year was a step back as Adams had no sacks and a few high-profile times when he was beaten in coverage. Plus, for the second straight year, he suffered a left shoulder injury that required surgery, this time missing the last four games of the season. The injuries are undoubtedly worrisome, but Adams had proven durable before coming to Seattle.
As for his sack totals, Adams was used as a rusher just 5.8% of the time in 2021 compared to 13.2% in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus, and getting Adams more involved in rush packages will be a key focus for new defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt.
Following the news of Adams’ season-ending injury, Seattle coach Pete Carroll defended the trade, noting the production the Seahawks got out of him right off the bat.
“I think he’s been a fantastic get for us,” Carroll said. “I go back to, you get him immediately and he’s playing for you. You pick another guy, then you figure out can he play and how does he do as he transitions into the league? We had an immediate response.”
It’s the response Seattle gets from here on out that will more truly tell the full tale of this one, though.