New York Jets All-Pro safety Jamal Adams has been the topic of conversation among Eagles fans recently, the result of an ESPN report stating Adams would welcome a trade to Philadelphia.
But while the Eagles are on Adams' list, it seems another team is at the top.
In addition to the Eagles, Adams would reportedly (per ESPN) also welcome a trade to the Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks.
The question is — do the Eagles want him enough to stop the Cowboys from acquiring the All-Pro safety?
As a player, Adams makes a ton of sense for the Eagles. The team let Malcolm Jenkins go in free agency and it is easy to see Adams stepping right into the role Jenkins played. Adams, 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, has totals 273 tackles, 12 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions in three seasons (46 games) for the Jets.
The 24-year old former first-round pick is an in-the-box safety that is a solid tackler, playmaker and natural leader. As optimistic as the Eagles are about what Jalen Mills could do in his new role at safety, Adams has been a two-time Pro Bowl player at the position and was an All-Pro in 2019. Adding him to the defense would be a game changer, and would complete the overhaul of their secondary.
The issue is the money and compensation.
Adams reportedly wants to be paid like the top safety in the league, and that will mean a deal worth around $15 million per year. That is going to be an issue for the Eagles, who have $24 million in cap space currently, but are projected to be $50 million over the cap in 2021. There is also the possibility that $50 million hole gets even deeper if the salary cap drops due to fallout from COVID-19 pandemic. Adams has a cap hit of $7 million in 2020, and then his fifth-year option in 2021 is just over $9 million. It seems Adams might be open to not demanding a deal immediately from his new team, but will want paid soon, and certainly before 2021.
Even if things do remain the same, fitting Adams into their salary cap will not be easy. It will require a low cap-hit initially, and potentially in 2021 as well, with that number exploding in 2022. Still, as complicated as it might be, the duo of Howie Roseman and Jake Rosenberg are arguably the best cap experts in the league, and could likely figure out a way to make it work if they really wanted Adams.
In addition to paying Adams, however, they will also need to trade for him. With seven teams on his list, there will likely be some kind of bidding war for Adams. The big-contract he is owed will potentially impact what it costs to trade for him, but it is hard to imagine it not costing at least one first-round pick. A premium pick and a big-time deal is a major investment, and it is fair to wonder if a safety is worth that kind of investment — especially for a team like the Eagles, who have cap issues and need to get younger.
As for the Cowboys, they are also in a tight salary cap situation, with $13 million in cap space for 2020 and then $37 million in 2021. The main issue facing them is the potential, or likelihood, of a massive extension coming soon for quarterback Dak Prescott. While the money might be complicated, however, the Cowboys are likely far more willing to trade a premium asset like a first-round pick for Adams, as Dallas seems to be all-in on trying to win right now.
Whether the Eagles make a move for Adams remains to be seen. It is probably unlikely it happens.
What is certain, however, is that it is not going to go over well in Philadelphia if it is the Cowboys who end up landing the All-Pro safety.