Whenever a talented player either hits the free agency market or gets put on the trading block, it is Blogger Law that we have to talk about the team we cover potentially making a play for them. It doesn’t matter how illogical or unlikely it is, you must address the question or face the consequences—a bombardment of Tweets, comments, and mailbag questions from hopeful fans claiming that the organization is trash unless the get this guy.
The latest name to qualify for this Blogger Law is Jets safety Jamal Adams, who made it very clear in an Instagram comment that he’s not happy with New York. And if there was any doubt about his post, Rich Cimini—the ESPN beat reporter for the Jets—is reporting that Adams has informed the team he wants to be traded.
Adams has two years remaining in his rookie deal after the Jets exercised his fifth-year option back in April.
To make Lions fans even more eager to jump on a young talent like Adams, Detroit has nearly $30 million in cap space, according to the NFLPA public salary cap report.
So let me assume by Blogger Duty.
Should the Lions trade for Jamal Adams?
My answer: Should the Lions make a call? Of course they should. Talent is talent, and the more you have of it, the better.
Should the Lions be major players when multiple teams come calling? Probably not.
The Lions have already invested a lot into the safety position, both for this year and beyond. Tracy Walker is a player this team loves, and even if this regime is kicked out after 2020, he’s versatile enough to be an important piece for whatever coaching staff comes next. Detroit also drafted Will Harris in the third round last year. While his progress remains slower, there’s no reason to give up on him at this point in his career. Throw in the trade for Duron Harmon this year, and the Lions are pretty set for 2020.
Of course, adding Adams is a move that would not only improve the present, but could give the Lions a huge talent for the future. Adams is only three years deep into his NFL career, and he already has two Pro Bowls and two All Pro nods. You could make an easy argument that the best football of Adams’ career is still ahead of the 24-year-old.
And that’s why you, at the very least, make the call. A future with Adams and Walker could be a great one.
However, cost and lack of mutual interest are the biggest roadblocks. According to Adam Schefter, the Lions aren’t among the teams Adams is currently interested in being traded to:
Here are the seven teams to which Jets’ Pro-Bowl safety Jamal Adams would welcome a trade, per source:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 18, 2020
And that means the Lions would have to throw a hefty extension Adams’ way to lure him to Detroit. We’re talking Landon Collins money—six years, $84 million, PLUS whatever it takes to compensate the Jets in the trade, which is undoubtedly going to be at least a Day 2 pick, probably more.
If the Lions were to do that, it could jeopardize their ability to extend Walker, who will likely be due a new contract next offseason. Not to mention, the Lions need to be a bit careful about spending their cap space with the unknown ramifications COVID-19 could have on the 2021 salary cap, as many believe there’s a chance it could drop below 2020’s figure.
And while an Adams-Walker safety duo sounds nice, both players are at their best when they’re playing a strong-safety role. The Lions could move both players around and keep defenses off-balance, but they would still have a long-term need for a single-high, coverage-based safety. Duron Harmon, who is expected to play that role this season, is only under contract for 2020.
If the Lions were to somehow land Adams in a trade, I’m not going to be mad about. How could you? Detroit would immediate gain an immense talent. However, I don’t think it would be the prudent long-term move unless they somehow got him in a steal.