Jamal Adams to the Steelers? Does it make sense?
Let’s see, how many “Should the Steelers go after (insert noteworthy available player here)?” scenarios are we up to so far this offseason? Jameis Winston, J.J. Watt (if you have two Watts, you might as well have all three to complete the set), Leonard Fournette, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, a bunch of other guys that I’m sure I’d remember if I tried hard enough, and now Adams, the Jets All-Pro safety who is really, really disgruntled and really wants out of New York ASAP.
I guess it makes sense to speculate on Adams. After all, the Steelers did surprise each and every person with a pulse last September, when they traded their 2020 first-round pick to Miami in exchange for the services of disgruntled safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. When you combine that trade with the decision from a few months earlier, when Pittsburgh acted ultra aggressively and moved up to the 10th spot in order to select linebacker Devin Bush in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, it would appear going after awesome toys is the new Steelers Way.
If only the Steelers were on the reported list of teams Adams would be willing to accept a trade to. Yes, I know, Adams’ wish list isn’t official—it’s not like a limited trade clause some players have in their contracts. The Jets are free to trade Adams wherever they wish, and it’s up to him to report to said team.
However, not every All-Pro safety is disgruntled for the same reasons. While it is true Fitzpatrick lobbied hard and loud to be traded from the Dolphins early last season, it was more for football reasons than anything else. Yes, the Dolphins claimed they had plans to build their defense around Fitzpatrick, the 11th-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but it was probably hard for Fitzpatrick to take such a notion seriously. It probably didn’t help his head coach, Brian Flores, was walking around the team offices wearing a “Tank it for Tua” t-shirt.
Unlike Fitzpatrick, who came to town and quickly fit in with the Steelers and seemed to be quite content with his role and the direction of his new team, it would appear Adams, the sixth-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, is motivated by one thing: Being paid and being paid RIGHT NOW!
In other words, he wants a new deal before his rookie contract expires after the 2021 season.
This is a different kind of disgruntled, and this sort of disgruntled won’t end with a new team—yes, even the one called the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What would you be willing to give up in a trade for this kind of disgruntled? A first-round pick? A second-round pick? Even if you do, remember financial disgruntled travels well. Ultimately this means he’d likely spend the next two years wanting more money from his new boss.
Would the Steelers be willing to satisfy his needs? I doubt it. They have to worry about satisfying their own All-Pro safety—Minkah Fitzpatrick—by the end of the 2022 season. And before this problem arises, Pittsburgh has to worry about satisfying its own 2017 first-round pick—T.J. Watt—by the end of the 2021 season.
And what about their own 2018 first-round pick—Terrell Edmunds—who, like Adams, happens to be a strong safety? They might not be all that concerned about satisfying him financially at the moment, but I’m sure they’d like to satisfy their own curiosity about whether or not his level of play will ever approach that of Adams’.
Edmunds hasn’t been Jamal Adams over his first two seasons, but he hasn’t been Terrell the Terrible, either.
Finally, the Steelers have a really, really good defense. Could it be better? Yes. But maybe this will happen with the natural progression of players like Edmunds.
There’s no need for the Steelers to take a leap of faith on another disgruntled All-Pro safety, not when he’ll want them to pay him a lot of money the second he comes to town.