June 3, 2023

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Seahawks’ Pete Carroll breaks down talk of Jamal Adams’ death

Coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday tried to squash any notion that the Seattle Seahawks were considering cutting safety Jamal Adams after the team’s recent acquisition of Julian Love.

Carroll, speaking at the NFL’s annual meetings in Phoenix, stressed that the signing of the versatility Love doesn’t affect Adams or fellow safe Quandre Diggs, other than allowing Seattle to play all three at once.

It remains unclear whether Adams, who is coming out of surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon, will be ready for the first week of the 2023 season.

“We sent our guys to see him about 10 days ago and he’s coming in the next couple of weeks too, so we’re tracking,” Carroll said. “He looks like he’s doing a great job. He’s pushing it and he’ll try to spoil any expectations that might prevent him from… preparing for the start of the season. He’s looking to get it done. We’re counting on him to hope for that.”

“I know there was some conversation about what we did with Julian, did that have some effect on Jamal or Quander – it isn’t. We have a clear idea of ​​what we’re going to do with our guys and how we want to play with it and we feel very lucky to have all the guys.”

This plan includes packages that use three safety in the field together, with Adams playing near the line of scrimmage in a false linebacker role. The Seahawks had intended to do just that in 2022, believing Adams could be re-ignited after his off season in 2021, but this year he lost in the first half of the opener. On the play he was hit, Adams broke out from a linebacker with two safeties lined up behind him.

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“We’ve been in this for a while,” Carroll said.

Speculation that the Seahawks could move on from Adams has been related to his outsized contract, declining production and availability over the past two seasons and all the money Seattle has now tied up in its coffers.

After being acquired in a successful deal with the New York Jets in 2020, Adams set the single-season record for a defensive back with 9.5 that year while hitting his third consecutive Pro Bowl. This led to a four-year, $70 million extension into the following furlough period. But he hasn’t been the same since then.

Adams did not record a sack in 2021 before his season ended in December when he again tore his left shoulder, the same injury he had picked up and played with during the previous year. After missing only two games during his first three seasons with the Jets, Adams missed 25 of a possible 50 games in three seasons with Seattle.

Adams has three years and $45 million remaining on his contract. This includes a base salary of $11 million in 2023, of which $2.56 million is fully guaranteed. Adams’ cut this season could net him up to $8.44 million in 2023 space, but he’ll come with $23.89 million in dead money. According to ESPN Stats & Information, this would be the seventh-highest amount of dead money in NFL history and the second-highest for a non-quarterback.

Diggs, a Pro Bowler in each of the past two seasons, is set to make $25 million over the last two years of his deal. The Seahawks also tendered Ryan Neal – one of the best defensive players from 2022 while filling in for Adams – as a restricted free agent. Neal received the low bid of $2.627 million, which guarantees him the rights to at least this season for that much money.

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Love signed a two-year, $12 million deal in the first week of free agency with Seattle, which includes a guaranteed $5.98 million consisting of a $4.82 million signing bonus and a $1.16 million base salary for 2023, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. Love’s base salary of $5 million for 2024 is not guaranteed.

The 25-year-old Love had a stellar season for the Giants in his first full season as a starter. He recorded 124 tackles, two interceptions, five passes defensed and six tackles for loss while also serving as the team’s captain and defensive signal caller.

The Seahawks did their homework on Love prior to free agency but didn’t believe it would be within the scope of their contract.

“He’s a very instinctive player,” General Manager John Schneider said of Love on Seattle Sports 710-AM. “Great eyes, great vision. A highly productive guy at Notre Dame and with the Giants.”

The Seahawks showed such Love’s versatility by playing both safety spots as well as nickelback. Carroll also noted how Love played over 1,000 snaps on defense last season and over 200 on special teams.

“It’s an unusual combination,” Carroll said. “That’s just one aspect of what Julian brings. He’s a really versatile footballer. He called their defense. He had the green point. He was a leader. It was a very rare opportunity to get a guy like that, so we jumped at it.”

Carroll answered in the affirmative when asked if Love could play Nickelback, a role played by rookie Coby Bryant last season.

“Yes, he can do a lot of things,” Carroll said. “He was a very dynamic player in their system. He did everything from behind, he was a really good player, but he fits with the running game and pressing and all that stuff. He’s got all of those things. A really complete footballer. And also the intelligence that he brings and the leadership that he brings.” Bring it, it would be a really good addition.”

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ESPN reporter Lindsey Thiry contributed to this story.