What's with NFL teams handing over sunken treasure for one player?

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By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Why?

Well you can understand why. Jamal Adams is an elite safety and a great fit for what Pete Carroll wants to do with the Seahawks defense. Seattle now has a real difference-maker on each side of the ball, which is arguably a prerequisite for any Super Bowl champion.

But even if Adams is the next Ed Reed, and he may be ... is it smart to sink all your unearthed treasure for the ownership of a single asset? Valuables often weigh a lot. Will the ship stay afloat?

Adams is headed to Seattle in exchange for just so many goddamn things. According to multiple reports, the Jets will receive first-round picks in 2021 and 2022, a third-round pick in 2021, and safety Bradley McDougald in exchange for Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022. "They got a f***ing player on top of it?!" asked the one Seahawks fan who's thinking clearly on Saturday night.

There's nothing bad about adding a player of Adams' caliber, in and of itself. But peeling away two future first-round talents plus tax and interest just feels absurd for any safety. By comparison, the Steelers acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Dolphins along with fourth and seventh-round picks for a first, a fifth, and a sixth. Is Adams really that much better than Fitzpatrick? Is any one defensive player worth that kind of haul?

Especially considering that now, the Seahawks have no choice but to make Adams the highest-paid safety in the NFL, maybe ever. An AAV in the range of $15 million will accomplish that. Not the kind of cost that could sink a franchise, but the draft capital John Schneider just gave up. My god, the draft capital.

It's easy to cast stones when you follow the Patriots for a living. If you ask me what I'd say if Bill Belichick made this trade, well you'd have me in a real pickle let me tell ya. But Belichick would NEVER. Deals like the one he gave to Stephon Gilmore are ultra-rare. The guy broke Tom Brady's balls for two decades. You will absolutely never see him make a trade like this, unless he's the one getting all the treasure and prospects. There's gold over yonder!

Bill Belichick has an opportunity to make the rest of the NFL look really, really bad. (Getty Images)
Bill Belichick has an opportunity to make the rest of the NFL look really, really bad. (Getty Images)

What's on the horizon for the Seahawks? They made it impressively far in 2019 with Russell Wilson basically carrying the rotted husk of the "Legion of Boom" defense, a suspect offensive line, and only a couple of truly difference-making weapons. Inserting Adams will most certainly mark a major short-term upgrade.

It's just ... Adams is still just one player. A very talented, loud, outspoken one. And they may have to pay him handsomely in order to avoid a similar public spat down the road. A road that's paved with a lot of fourth-round picks.

Why do professional football teams keep doing this to themselves? The only kind of player that warrants even consideration of a deal like this is an elite franchise quarterback. Football is the ultimate team sport. One guy can screw up and ruin it for everyone on the field. And one guy sucking up too much of your resources can devalue the guys around him.

It's why Belichick is rarely even in position to make this kind of a trade. It's far more economical to find talent with your own picks and, if you must, let other talent walk and simply keep the machine going. He has little wiggle room on the 2020 cap, to be sure, but that's mainly because of Tom Brady's departure. Belichick still has one of the strongest middle classes in the NFL because he doesn't overcommit to one person. There's no $ in "team."

We'll see how the Seahawks do after committing so much to Adams alone. But this stuff typically doesn't end well. It makes you wonder why teams keep falling for it.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].