There was little doubt that the best linebacker in the game would field questions about one of the top safeties in the game. And on Wednesday, Bobby Wagner was all too happy to praise the newly acquired Jamal Adams, a former Jets DB.
Wagner discussed their time in Monaco, where they both promoted the Jordan Brand. He talked about how the Seahawks’ defense complements Adams’ game while envisioning the possibilities.
But there was one question that Wagner, in the most polite way possible, declined to give a juicy answer.
“How surprised were you that (the Seahawks) gave away two first-round picks to get Adams?” a reporter asked.
“John (Schneider) always likes to make moves, man,” Wagner said of the Seahawks’ general manager. “I think he always does the best he can to make sure we have a great team, and he’s gonna make any move possible to do that.”
Two first-round draft picks may seem steep, but there should be no surprise surrounding the transaction. At this point, it would have been surprising if the Seahawks hadn’t acquired Adams.
When evaluating Seattle’s front office, I would assume that most people think of the historical, often late-round draft picks that have included Russell Wilson (third round), Richard Sherman (fifth) and Kam Chancellor (fifth). But they’ve earned a reputation for signing or trading for A-list (or at least B+-list) talent.
In 2010 it was trading for Marshawn Lynch, who gave them the run-first, win-the-war-of-attrition style of play responsible for their two most recent Super Bowl runs.
In 2013 it was Percy Harvin, who, yes, gave the locker-room a tumor, but was still electric in the Super Bowl.
In 2015 it was tight end Jimmy Graham, who may not have lived up to his herculean New Orleans persona but still made two Pro Bowls as a Seahawk.
In 2017 it was defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, and then five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown later that season.
In 2019 it was defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and then Quandre Diggs during the season.
Now it’s Adams. Can anyone really say the Seahawks don’t go for it?
No doubt some of these acquisitions highlight Seattle’s willingness to take calculated risks. But the fact that so many otherwise disgruntled players — such as Brown, Clowney and Adams — were willing to come here speaks to the culture coach Pete Carroll has cultivated.
As far as the two first-round picks? That may seem like a Ferrari and a Lambo. But if it’s any consolation — the Seahawks haven’t drafted a Pro Bowl first-rounder since 2010, when they picked Russell Okung and Earl Thomas. True, those picks are usually exchanged for more later-round selections, but the point is that the Seahawks have built their franchise by thieving on the draft’s second and third day.
As far as how Adams will fit into the defense? Wagner sounded excited.
“He’s gonna come in and fit in just fine; a lot of times there are certain defenses where we have the safety come into the box, which I think he’s very comfortable in. A lot of times we have the safety come in blitz, which I think he’s very comfortable in,” Wagner said of the safety who had 6 1/2 sacks last year, more than anybody on the Seahawks in 2019. “So there’s a lot of things we do that really complement his game. There’s a lot of things that we do that we feel can bring another element out of this game. So I think this defense should be really fun for him.”
Sounds like it will be fun for everybody.
Wagner was recently ranked as the league’s 13th-best player by the NFL Network, which wedged him between Tom Brady (14) and Drew Brees. Adams came in at No. 27.
That said, analytics site Pro Football Focus recently ranked the Seahawks’ defensive line as the worst in the NFL, so there are still some areas that need shoring up. Will it happen?
At this point, I think you have to give Schneider and Carroll the benefit of the doubt and say it will. The team has made the playoffs in seven of the past eight years despite losing stars such as Sherman, Chancellor and Thomas, among others.
Maybe it means sneaking Clowney on the roster somehow. Perhaps there’s another big name to come.
One thing is certain: If Seattle makes another big splash, fans would feel an array of emotions. Surprise, however, shouldn’t be one of them.