Safeties are vital to an NFL defense. They can be the difference in the outcome of a game.
Jamal Adams signed a 4 year, $22,258,738 contract with the New York Jets, including a $14,328,154 signing bonus, $22,258,738 guaranteed, which has an average annual salary of $5,564,685.
In 2020, Adams will earn a base salary of $825,000 and a roster bonus of $2,765,292. He is easily one of the best at his position, but he isn’t paid like one.
Upset at the New York Jets for the better part of the last year, the two-time Pro Bowl safety finally and officially requested a trade on Thursday. Most of Adams’ motivation stems from an ongoing impasse over long-term contract negotiations.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, at least one team that’s looked into Adams believes the All-Pro eventually wants to be paid more than $20 million per season.
Not a single safety tops even $15M annually, with the Bears’ Eddie Jackson ($14.6M) ranking as the highest-paid at Adams’ position.
As of June 2020, there are five different players currently averaging annual salaries above $20M: Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack ($23.5M), Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($22.5M), Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence ($21M), Indianapolis Colts defensive end DeForest Buckner ($21M) and Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark ($20.8M).
So, Adams truly wanting $20M per year at his position will prove to be not only problematic for the Jets, but for any team looking to extend him in the future.
The deal the Bears gave Eddie Jackson made him the highest-paid safety in NFL history. Adams is trying to go well beyond that.