According to multiple reports, Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams tore his labrum and suffered additional shoulder damage in Sunday's victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Seattle went from celebrating a win over a divisional foe to mourning the loss of their star defender. The unfortunate injury occurred just months after Seattle reached an agreement on a massive contract extension with Adams, a four-year extension worth up to $72 million with $38 million in guarantees. The deal made Adams the highest-paid safety in the league, but he now faces a serious and difficult road to recovery.
This injury is particularly concerning. It's the same shoulder that partially limited Adams to just 12 games a year ago. He'll now finish his 2021 campaign having appeared in just 12 contests in consecutive seasons. It opens up a larger conversation regarding general manager John Schneider's willingness to acquire Adams in a blockbuster deal in July of 2020.
There is no denying Adams' talent, but there were a fair amount of question marks surrounding the compensation—Seattle sent first-and third-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft, and a first-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft to the New York Jets in order to secure Adams' services. It represented a sizable price tag for a player at a devalued position. Adams totaled 9.5 sacks in his debut season as a Seahawk but will finish the 2021 campaign without having recorded a single quarterback takedown. There isn't a defender in the league that can carry a defense by his lonesome, but Adams has failed to improve a putrid Seahawks defense that is currently allowing 396.2 yards per contest. Only Adams' former team, the Jets, are worse (396.8) in that category.
It's fair to say the trade hasn't quite worked out for Seattle. The Jets, meanwhile, have indeed enjoyed the fruits of the exchange—and will continue to do so. The collection of picks they acquired helped general manager Joe Douglas move up in the 2021 draft in order to select former USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker, who currently appears to be a quality building block for a young offensive line that's moving in the right direction. The 2022 first-round pick they will receive from Seattle may somehow prove to be even more crucial. The first-round selection the Seahawks owe the Jets in the upcoming draft is currently the fifth-overall pick due to Seattle’s awful 4-8 record. It represents a premium selection and will likely finish in that range barring an unexpected late-season surge by the underperforming Seahawks.
Schneider has created quite the mess with this trade and he furthered the damage by handing Adams a massive contract extension he is now stuck with for the foreseeable future. The blood is on his hands. Seattle forfeited multiple high-value draft picks in order to acquire a player that can now be described as oft-injured. Injuries are part of the game and unpredictable, but this trade would draw criticism even if Adams had stayed healthy. First-round draft picks are acceptable sacrifices in the name of winning, but Seattle isn't doing much of that either.
The Adams trade is dangerously inching toward going down as a monumental mistake if it's not already reached that point for most. Stack it on top of several other questionable personnel decisions Schneider has made throughout the years, particularly with his first-round selections (Rashaad Penny and L.J. Collier immediately come to mind), and perhaps there's a larger conversation to be had here regarding Schenider's future job security.