As the coronavirus halted a historic season for UP’s women’s basketball as well as all other collegiate and professional sporting seasons, I thought that things could not get much worse for sports. I felt as if everything good we had going for us was taken away. However, I knew that with patience and trust we could go back to succeeding at the same level we left off at. Now as we approach what normally is the kickoff for the NFL season, I cannot say that I have the same level of faith in my favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks.
Once a year, all 32 NFL teams have the amazing opportunity to recruit college athletes and potentially obtain the next superstar. No one year is the same—a team’s draft order, positions that need to be filled and mindset change every year. Only one thing stays consistent each year in the draft: that phenomenal college athletes who live and breathe football are up for grabs. Each and every draft includes players who end up becoming amazing NFL players in their own way.
In late July, the Seahawks made what some call the biggest offseason move by trading safety Bradley McDougald as well as three draft picks, two of which are first-round picks to the New York Jets, in exchange for safety Jamal Adams and a fourth-round pick in 2022. The two first-round picks that the Seahawks gave up are from the 2021 draft and 2022 draft.
Four other NFL teams in the last three years have traded two first-round picks for a young superstar, and this Seahawks trade is the riskiest of them all. The Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, and Los Angeles Rams are the three other teams that have made this type of risky trade. However, in their cases, they traded for more valuable positions. That is how the Bears attained edge rusher Khalil Mack, who is now one of the best defensive players in the NFL. The Seahawks gave away just as much for a position that is not valued as highly. Even if Adams is phenomenal and becomes the next Khalil Mack of safeties, it is extremely difficult to justify giving up this sort of haul for one player unless he is a quarterback.
Of course, the safety position is extremely valuable and worthwhile, as seen with the impact Kam Chancellor was able to make from that position. However, right now this should not be the Seahawks’ main focus. When Chancellor was able to succeed, the Hawks also had Marshawn Lynch within their arsenal of game-changing players.
While I love to see Seattle acquire an exceptional defensive back, I do not think giving away two first-round picks was worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely miss the days when Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, and Earl Thomas all lined up in the backfield for the Hawks between 2011-2017, but those days are long gone. Having phenomenal defensive players like that clearly does good for your team (as seen in the 2013 Super Bowl XLVIII), however the Seahawks are not going about recreating that defense properly.
Many may say that this trade was worth it because Jamal Adams is the answer to strengthening Seattle’s defense. Ideally, adding Adams to Seattle’s defensive stars, Shaquill Griffin, K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner, should create the same defense as seen in the Super Bowl winning 2013 team, right? This is not the case. Adams is better than most safeties, getting 6.5 sacks last season alone, but he is not worth two first-round picks. Throughout his entire career, Adams has only acquired two interceptions.
Others may say that the value of draft picks this year has gone down because college players are not being properly evaluated due to the pandemic stopping games, visits and workouts. The Seahawks are choosing to pick a player that has already proven himself in the NFL rather than picking college players that they are not even allowed to meet.
In-person workouts, interviews, and other evaluations have been so crucial in the past for finding the right player to draft. All of those aspects are missing this year. However, this does not devalue this year’s draft. Teams this year are saving lots of time because they do not have to travel and they have more time to evaluate prospective players by watching their college games on film. This means that the value of players in this draft has not gone down, and finding the right player may have even gotten easier. While some see that there is too much uncertainty in this draft and having high picks is too much pressure, I find that this draft is no more of an uncertain one than past years. The two first-round picks that Seattle traded are just as important (if not more) as they ever have been.
After going 11-5 last season, we can only hope that acquiring Adams will help the Seahawks and make them a Super Bowl contending team next season. Unfortunately, Adams alone may not be able to help achieve that goal. Last season, Barnwell points out, the Hawks only outscored opponents by seven points. For the most part, teams that win games in such a close margin only decline the following season. In the long run, acquiring Adams at this cost does not help the Seahawks get any closer to a Super Bowl.
Adams told Danny and Gallant on ESPN 710 that he is excited to join Seattle’s defense. He believes that he will have a lot of opportunities to get to the ball. While I sure do hope that Adam’s excitement translates to personal and team success on and off the field, I ultimately do not think that the trade to acquire him was worth it.
Marek Corsello is a photographer for The Beacon. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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