Justin Simmons may want to enjoy sitting atop the safety market while he can because it looks like the Broncos star may soon be bumped down the bracket. According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Seattle Seahawks are willing to make Jamal Adams the NFL's highest-paid safety. Already, Seattle has made offers that would set the market at the safety position and Garafolo notes that he expects both sides will agree on a deal prior to the start of the regular season.
Denver handed Simmons a market-setting deal back in March, which paid him $61 million over four years and included $35 million guaranteed. Under that deal, Simmons is looking at an average annual salary of $15.25 million, which Adams will seemingly soon leap over. Currently, Adams is set to make $9.86 million on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract.
The 25-year-old was acquired by Seattle almost exactly one year ago in a blockbuster trade with the Jets headlined by two first-rounders heading back to New York. Given that lucrative compensation to land Adams, it was a foregone conclusion that the Seahawks would eventually hand him a contract of this magnitude, so this momentum towards a massive extension isn't totally surprising.
With the Jets, Adams -- who was selected No. 6 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft -- quickly established himself as one of the game's top safeties, earning first-team All-Pro honors back in 2019. He continued that top-tier play following the trade to the Seahawks, totaling 83 tackles, a career-high 9.5 sacks, and three pass breakups in 2020.
While Adams will be looking at a contract north of Simmons' $15.25 AAV, it likely won't be too much higher. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Seattle does want to keep linebacker Bobby Wagner as its highest-paid defensive player, meaning there is a ceiling for Adams in these negotiations. On his current contract, Wagner earns $18 million per season.