The Dallas Cowboys use 365 days a year to improve their roster. Trading for Jets safety Jamal Adams is one move they should not make.
The rumor mill has been circulating and if the speculation were true, the Dallas Cowboys would soon trade for New York Jets safety Jamal Adams. While Adams is a premier talent at his position, his addition to the Cowboys is problematic.
There have been several posts on The Landry Hat and even The Jet Press about why the Cowboys should trade for Adams. Mainstream media including NFL.com and CBS Sports have both identified the Cowboys as a potential trade partner.
Adams plays a position that the Cowboys have traditionally not valued. Last years starting safeties Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath were a sixth round draft pick and an undrafted free agent. The last time Dallas spent a third round or better draft pick on a safety was in 2013 when they drafted J.J. Wilcox. The time before that was in 2002 when they drafted Roy Williams in the first round.
According to Spotrac.com, Tyrann Mathieu has the highest cap hit for the 2020 season at $16.3 million. Adams will demand a contract that exceeds that value.
If you haven’t been paying attention, the Cowboys have very little cap room this coming year and in future years after locking up eight players through the 2023 season with cap hits that value nearly $125 million dollars. And that list does not include quarterback Dak Prescott, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, wide receiver Michael Gallup who could add anywhere between $35 million and $65 million to that value.
While the cap has risen by about $10 million per year since the 2011 CBA was signed, the possibility of playing the 2020 season without fans in the stands could cost each NFL team about $100 million. This would mean a salary cap reduction of $48 million which could mean the salary cap will remain flat for the next two or three years despite new revenue sources coming online.
So trading for and then signing Adams to the contract he desires could put the Cowboys in a salary cap predicament. The trade cost is another problem for Dallas to overcome.
The cost to acquire Jamal Adams for the Dallas Cowboys would be too steep
The rumors indicate the Jets want first and third round picks for Adams. With the Cowboys having signed so many of their own talent to large second contracts, Dallas will need to have as many high quality players on cost affordable rookie contracts that they can find.
Dallas is primed to have four compensatory picks in the 2021 draft bringing their allotment to eleven total picks. The Cowboys have already traded one 2021 pick to move up in the 2020 draft to pick center Tyler Biadasz.
If they trade two high picks, not only will they reduce their chances of finding high quality players given their first round pick history over the last decade, they will need to find their replacements from the undrafted free agent ranks and the bargain bin in free agency.
Adams would provide an upgrade over what the Dallas Cowboys currently have. However, the cost to acquire him is steep and the cost to keep him beyond his current rookie deal is even steeper.
But is Adams a significant upgrade over Ha Ha Clinton-Dix who carries a $4 million cap hit for the 2020 season. Clinton-Dix was the 19th rated safety according to Pro Football Focus with a 74.2 grade in the 2019 season. Adams was the fourth rated safety according to PFF with a 87.9 grade to go along with his soon to be north of $16 million cap hit.
While it would be nice to have a talent like Jamal Adams in the defensive backfield, the acquisition and salary cap cost likely does not provide sufficient return for the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe a trade in 2021 where the plan would be to use Adams as a one year rental would make sense if the cost to acquire was a second or third round draft pick.
For now, not trading for Adams is the right move. Just like it was at the trade deadline last season. So let’s put this idea to bed.