And this reason truly reared its head during Adams’ first season with the Seattle Seahawks.
Adams missed a bunch of games early in the season with a groin injury, then came back and hurt both shoulders, one requiring surgery after the season. And on top of all that he broke two fingers on his left hand, which also needed to be surgically repaired following the season.
We aren’t making light of Adams’ injuries. The guy is a warrior. However, all these maladies illustrate how it’s very risky to give safeties monster contracts due to the injury-prone nature of that position.
Of course, all NFL positions can lead to injuries, but safety is perhaps one of the more injury-laden spots. It’s a position at which players who aren’t huge by football standards are constantly involved in violent collisions with opponents who are often bigger than them, such as large running backs (i.e. Derrick Henry). And on top of all the major collisions at the position, they also do a lot of running in coverage, which can lead to soft tissue injuries, such as hamstring and groin issues.
One reason the Seahawks traded for Adams was they had a deficit at safety after two key members of “The Legion of Boom,” safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, had major injury issues that ended Chancellor’s career and Thomas’ time in Seattle.
One factor that might have led to GM John Dorsey losing his job in Kansas City was the contract disaster with star safety Eric Berry. In 2017, Dorsey gave Berry a six-year, $78 million contract, making him the highest-paid safety in football. He ended up playing four games in the next two seasons due to an Achilles injury in 2017, and a heel injury in 2018. He was released before the 2019 season, and the Chiefs actually had an $8 million cap charge for Berry even this last season.
Former Indianapolis star safety Bob Sanders was another player who got a monster contract and then couldn’t stay healthy. There are plenty of other examples.
So giving safeties mega-deals can be risky business, and Adams reportedly wanted $20 million a year from the Jets.
Paying that kind of money, at that position, can be fool’s gold.
Remember, Adams suffered a high ankle sprain down the stretch of his final season with the Jets, and now this year, had three significant injuries.
One reason Adams might be getting banged up is that he plays so much in the box, in run support and as a blitzer. He’s essentially a 6-1, 213-pound linebacker. His latest shoulder injury was suffered on a blitz pickup by 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon, which resulted in a big collision.
So Jets GM Joe Douglas trading Adams for two first-round picks and a third-round pick makes a lot of sense.
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