The standoff between Jamal Adams and the Seattle Seahawks is over. Adams is now the NFL's highest-paid safety.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Adams agreed to a four-year, $70 million contract with $38 million guaranteed, per a source informed of the pact. Seattle later announced Adams had signed a contract extension.
The $17.5 million per year average in new money blasts past the Broncos' Justin Simmons ($15.25 million) as the highest among all safeties. Landon Collins is the only safety to have received more guaranteed money ($44.5 million), but that came on a six-year deal.
Adams' deal has a maximum value of $72 million, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported, meaning the safety could end up making $18 million per year -- the same as currently top-paid Seahawks teammate Bobby Wagner earns -- if he hits team and individual performance incentives.
Adams was entering the final year of his rookie contract and slated to earn $9.86 million. Now he's under contract through the 2025 season.
While much consternation characterized contract talks -- or reported lack thereof -- between Adams' reps and the Seahawks of late, all the worrying and pontificating goes up in smoke. The deal is done and Adams followed with his return to practice on Tuesday afternoon.
"I believe in myself. And I believe in what I can do on the football field. All I needed was somebody to believe in me. And those guys upstairs, they believed in me," Adams said Tuesday. "And they took a chance and all I can do is just continue to produce and continue to work my tail off and win ballgames, man."
There was never any question the Seahawks were prepared to make Adams the highest-paid safety in the NFL. Rapoport and Garafolo continuously reported that would ultimately be the case. The bigger question was the guarantees and pay structure.
The Seahawks inherited all the risk when trading two first-round picks to the New York Jets for the former No. 6 overall selection. Doing so gave Adams insane leverage. The Seahawks were never going to let the star safety walk after paying such a high price to acquire him.
Adams had been sitting out practices while sides hammered out a deal. Now that deal is done, the safety's return to the field is imminent, Rapoport added. With more than three weeks until the season opener, Adams has plenty of time to gear up for the season.
In his first year in Seattle, Adams started 12 games, compiling 83 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three passes defensed and one forced fumble. While he struggled in coverage at times, Pete Carroll used him as a chess piece, causing havoc and disruption for offenses whenever he was on the field. The Seahawks believe the injuries Adams dealt with played a role in those coverage struggles last season. The belief in Seattle is that, now fully healthy, he'll be much better in the system in Year 2.
When the Seahawks made the massive trade for Adams last offseason, we knew he'd eventually become the highest-paid safety. Today is that day. Seahawks fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the contract dispute won't cause any disruption in 2021.