Matt Calkins: If Seahawks really think they’re 1 player away, Jamal Adams could be that 1 player

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Here’s the question: Are the Seahawks one move away? Is this team one acquisition removed from being true Super Bowl contenders? Is an additional star what’s separating them from the NFL’s truly elite teams?

Because if that’s the case, and a player such as Jamal Adams is on the market, they have to go all out to get him.

The Jets safety made it clear last week that he doesn’t want to be in New York if they don’t rip up his contract and give him a far more lucrative one. Despite having two years left on his deal, he wants money on par with the best safeties in the league.

After Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 32nd best player in football (he had 6.5 sacks as a defensive back) he feels the $7 million coming to him next season and $10 million coming to him in 2021 is insufficient. It’s not all that dissimilar to Earl Thomas’ situation in 2018, when the former Seahawk wanted best-safety-in-the-NFL money despite having two years left on his contract.

So should the Seahawks pursue, and if so what should they give up?

We know that last year they were an 11-5 team that was less than a foot short of beating the 49ers and winning the division in Week 17. And we know they have one of the best quarterbacks in football in Russell Wilson (PFF ranked him as the best last season.)

The Seahawks certainly have their weaknesses, but any team that has a great quarterback will be competitive.

Just how competitive, though?

The Seahawks, after all, did go 5-0 in games decided by four points or fewer last season. They also went 9-2 in games decided by seven points or fewer. I think most people who followed them closely know they could have been 8-8 had a few plays gone a different way.

They also are currently without Jadeveon Clowney, the defensive end who had more impact on D last season than any other Seahawk.

Perhaps this is why Vegas Insider has the Seahawks as 22-1 to win the Super Bowl next season, good for eighth in the NFL. Oddsmakers see them as a playoff team, but not one on par with the Chiefs and Ravens, whose SB odds sit at 6-1 and 13-2, respectively.

But what if they added someone such as Adams?

It wasn’t the offense that held Seattle back last year. The team was 26th in the league in total defense. There were games such as the win over Tampa Bay where defensive players seemed limited in their ability to enjoy the victory because the D played so poorly.

But they improved dramatically when safety Quandre Diggs joined the team midway through the season, and have another more-than-capable safety in Bradley McDougald.

Is safety the area where the Seahawks really need to improve? Does it matter they also have a young, impactful safety in Marquis Blair? Might the defensive line be a bigger focus for Seattle, who may still be trying to get Clowney back?

These are all legitimate questions, but it doesn’t change the fact that Adams is a legitimate star. And though the Seahawks — who were 27th in the league in pass defense last year — have solid defensive backs, they don’t have any all-pros.

I think it’s a little silly for me to tell coach Pete Carroll and John Schneider who or what they should give up to to try and get Adams. I’ve seen names such as linebacker K.J. Wright or McDougald in various writers’ musings. I’ve seen first-round draft picks in multiple years on Twitter. There are a hundred different ways to go, but Carroll and Schneider have earned the public’s confidence based on their decisions throughout the years.

I do know this, though: The Seahawks are good enough to win a lot of games next year. They aren’t good enough to win the final game.

Putting Jamal Adams on this roster would likely change that, just as adding Clowney seemed to spike their success rate last year.

I’ve said before that Seattle’s front office still has one big move in it before the season begins. Is this the one?

Because if the Seahawks go all-in to get Adams, they could go all the way come February.


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