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Seahawks safety, former Tiger Jamal Adams among NFL ‘All-Paid’ team

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When you talk about the former LSU players currently at the top of their game in the NFL, safety Jamal Adams has to be on that list.

He’s developed into one of the top safeties in football since he was picked by the New York Jets at No. 6 overall in 2017. He was named to the All-Rookie team his first season and earned Second-Team All-Pro honors in 2018. He was also a First-Team All-Pro selection in his third season in 2019.

Despite that dominant campaign, he was traded to Seattle for a hefty haul following that season. He was named a Second-Team All-Pro for the second time in his career in 2020, and he was rewarded with a four-year, $72 million extension that made him the highest-paid safety in football history.

Therefore, it should be no surprise that he appears as one of the safeties on NFL.com’s “All-Paid Team” list, which forms a roster out of the highest-paid players at each position. With his $17.5 million/year deal, Adams is joined by Harrison Smith from Minnesota.

The least-valued position on defense (in terms of player compensation) is headlined by a man who doesn’t necessarily play it. Adams is much more productive around the line of scrimmage than he is moving backwards. The level of cost needed to acquire him (two first-round picks, a third-rounder and Bradley McDougald) has yet to be justified by his performance. Though he did lead the team with 9.5 sacks in 2020 (the most ever by a defensive back in a single season), Adams’ struggles in coverage cannot be overlooked. The Seahawks still doubled down and made Adams the game’s highest-paid back-end defender last offseason.

As Anthony Holzman-Escareno hints at in his breakdown here, Adams is coming off a fairly disappointing 2021 season. He had 87 total tackles, the second-most in his career, and finished with two interceptions, giving him the first multi-pick season of his career.

But he also had just five pass breakups and finished with zero sacks after totaling 9.5 the prior season. His season was cut short after 12 games with a torn labrum, and though he’s still undeniably one of the game’s top safeties, it’s fair to question if his acquisition has been a good value move for Seattle.

Regardless, expectations are still high for Adams, who is just 26. He’ll enter the 2022 season with quite a bit to prove.

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