Jamal Adams is the highest-paid safety in the NFL -- by a wide margin. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirmed Adams and the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a four-year, $70 million contract extension -- making him the highest-paid safety in NFL history (in terms of average annual value). The deal can reach up to $72 million.
Adams will make $17.5 million annually, $2.25 million more per year than Justin Simmons -- who makes $15.25 million per year for the Denver Broncos. Adams is just the second safety with a total contract value of more than $70 million, joining Washington's Landon Collins -- who signed a six-year, $84 million deal in 2019.
"Man, it's a block off my shoulders," Adams said, via Pro Football Talk. "Just so excited to be a part of such a unique organization. Always been a fan. Still a fan. But it just makes it that much greater that I'm a part of the family now. I'm ready to go win some championships, man."
Adams will make $38 million guaranteed in the deal, the second highest for a safety in league history. Collins has the highest amount of guarantees at $44.5 million.
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The Seahawks and Adams were at a stalemate in contract talks, as the team made its final offer to the defensive back at $17.5 million per year and $38 million guaranteed. While Adams settled on that amount, he wanted $40 million guaranteed and the bonus to be spread over the three years (Seattle wanted four).
Both sides were able to settle, and Adams becomes the third-highest paid defensive back in the NFL (in terms of average annual salary). Only Jalen Ramsey ($20 million) and Marlon Humphrey ($19.5 million) make more per year than Adams, who set the NFL record for sacks in a season by a defensive back in 2020 (9.5) -- only playing 12 games.
Adams has 16 sacks in the last two seasons, more than Frank Clark, DeMarcus Lawrence, Fletcher Cox, and J.J. Watt. While Adams is listed as a safety, he's viewed as a playmaker that can play multiple positions. Per Pro Football Focus, Adams played 784 defensive snaps in 2020 -- 94 on the defensive line, 351 in the box, 173 as a slot cornerback, 17 as a wide corner and 149 at free safety.
"I believe in myself, and I believe in what I can do on the football field," Adams said. "All I needed was somebody to believe in me. And those guys upstairs, they believed in me. And they took a chance and all I can do is just continue to produce and continue to work my tail off and win ball games, man."
The impact Adams made on the Seahawks defense was critical down the stretch, showcasing how valuable he was to the unit. After Adams returned to the lineup in Week 9 of last season, Seattle allowed just 19.1 points a game (sixth in the NFL) and 318.1 yards per game (fifth in the NFL). The Seahawks allowed just 13.4 points per game over the final five games of the regular season -- the best in the league.
Adams has 21.5 sacks in his first four seasons, the most for a defensive back in NFL history in that span. The Seahawks are expecting the defensive back to continue his historic pace under a contract that will keep him in Seattle until the 2025 season, as Adams is just nine sacks from matching Hall of Famer Rodney Harrison (30.5) for the most by a defensive back in league history.
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