Carolina Panthers: Is Jamal Adams a risk worth taking?

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) Jamal Adams
(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) Jamal Adams /

The Carolina Panthers added a plethora of defensive players in this year’s draft, but it may not be enough.

With a defense that ranked 31st out of 32 teams in total points against per game. The Carolina Panthers desperately needed to make some changes on the defensive side of the ball.

First-year head coach Matt Rhule did just that in this year’s draft, taking seven defensive players with as many picks. Derrick Brown is set to have an immediate impact on the starting lineup. And fourth-rounder Troy Pride Jr. will also see plenty of time on the field after No. 1 cornerback James Bradberry signed a free-agent deal with the New York Giants.

Jeremy Chinn may also be thrown into the firing line either at safety or slot cornerback early on. But there is an intriguing trade option the Panthers need to seriously explore before the start of the season. The player in question is standout Jamal Adams from the New York Jets.

Adams has been the center of a contract debacle with the Jets for quite some time. He stated in January that he wants a contract extension before the season starts. But the franchise appeared hesitant to make that deal right away.

The Jets have no intention of trading the two time Pro Bowl safety. However, Adams has no intention of staying with the organization if his demands aren’t met.

How could the Carolina Panthers trade for Jamal Adams?

Realistically speaking, the Carolina Panthers might not be able to make it happen due to their financial situation moving forward. Teddy Bridgewater takes up a good amount of the cap at $14 million. And defensive tackle Kawann Short is comfortably the team’s highest earner in 2020 and comes with a cap hit of nearly $20 million.

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Adams is arguably the best safety in the league. So he will be looking to make the sort of money that reflects this. Eddie Jackson of the Chicago Bears is the highest-paid player at the position currently, making around $14.6 million a year.

The former first-round pick will surely look for at least $15 million a year. And being only 25-years-old, he should be looking for a multi-year deal if he is moved on.

Re-signing Tre Boston might have been the best move the Panthers made this offseason. With an already slim defensive line thanks to the loss of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Bruce Irvin, and Vernon Butler. It was essential they didn’t lose another veteran in the secondary who performed above expectations.

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Other notable departures include Eric Reid, who was released just one season into his lucrative deal.  The retirement of perennial All-Pro Luke Kuechly is another blow that will take the organization some time to get over.

Having Boston to guide the young draft picks through the early stages of their development and play significant snaps is huge. It also saves the Panthers the trouble and money of trying to go out and find yet another replacement.

Would Adams be a great addition to the Carolina Panthers defense? Of that, there is little doubt. But is he worth the $15 million a year he would be asking for? Probably not.

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This is down in no small part to the Panthers’ cap predicament. Rhule has certainly addressed the needs of the team in his first draft and with the current system in the NFL of players one-upping each other on contract. It may be better off to let another team handle the Adams contract talks.