Free agent S Jamal Adams shouldn’t be on 49ers’ radar

The 49ers apparently aren’t totally happy with their safety room. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times on Monday reported San Francisco is one of the teams that has stayed in touch with free agent safety Jamal Adams. This isn’t something they should explore further.

With the NFL draft now passed, free agent signings no longer factor into the compensatory pick formula so we’ll start seeing more veterans who are still available start signing. The 49ers could certainly add more depth in the trenches, but adding a safety in general doesn’t make a ton of sense unless they have real concerns about Talanoa Hufanga’s return from a torn ACL. It makes even less sense if Adams is the player they add.

Adams, 28, was once an outstanding young safety who went to three Pro Bowls and was named to three All-Pro teams in the 2018-20 seasons. Since his last Second-Team All-Pro nod in 2020 though he’s been a shell of himself while also dealing with injuries. Over the last three seasons the former Jets first-round pick has played in just 22 games, including 10 in the last two years. He hasn’t played more than 12 games in a season since 2019 when he played in 14 for the Jets.

Over the course of that time his value as a do-everything safety has dwindled as he’s taken on a role more akin to that of a linebacker. In four years with Seattle he played in 34 games, notched only two interceptions and 11 pass breakups, and all 9.5 of his sacks came in 2020.

It’s not totally clear what the 49ers envision his role being. He’s probably too small to play linebacker full-time, but there may be an opportunity for a hybrid LB/S spot in the defense under new defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen. In that very specific role it may be worth taking an inexpensive flier on the three-time All-Pro, but he doesn’t play special teams and there may not be a roster spot available as the team aims to get younger at both linebacker and safety. He also missed 15 tackles in just nine games last season which raises questions about just how effective he is even in a limited role.

Perhaps San Francisco is just trying to drive up the price in case the Seahawks want to re-sign him, but given his struggles over the last three seasons it’s hard to envision the 49ers having a ton of success with him in their defense.

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire