The 49ers made the wrong choice with the No. 3 overall recovery in 2017 from the NFL Draft, but the player they should have chosen in place of Salomon Thomas is not Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes or the Houston Texans’ DeShaun Watson.
This is New York Safety Jets Jamal Adams.
If there is one NFL player who could take San Francisco’s already dominant defense to the next level, it’s him. It would be extremely difficult (and costly – to rectify that the draft error, but good as it is, it is absolutely worth a try.
49ers to receive: Jamal adams
Jets to receive: Jaquiski Tartt, Dante Pettis, 2021 second round of selection project, selection future (s)
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Let me start by saying that Tartt is a good-for-big security in his own right, and the 49ers are a different team when he’s not on the field. Tartt missed the last four games of the 2019 regular season, on which the 49ers averaged 31.75 points per game. In the first 12 games of the season, which Tartt has been active they averaged 15.25 points against.
There is a player area that has improved every year and it is essential member of San Francisco is back Sept. But, it is also a bit unfortunate prone, and most importantly, entered the last year of his contract, for which he carries a $ 6.275 million cap hit.
If Tartt performs in 2020, while the 49ers hope and wait, he will certainly be commanding a large salary on the open market, most likely north of $ 10 million per season. And, if it declines significantly, San Francisco will either stay with it or find its replacement.
But in this scenario, I already did.
Adams, 24, is over three years younger than Tartt and already a top quality player. He was selected for the two most recent Pro Bowls, and last season was named the First All-Pro Team and ranked 37th best player in the NFL Top 100. Pro Football Focus ranked as the fifth best in safety in the football set, which excels both as a blitzer (second best) and cover (seventh best). His 6.5 sacks drove all back defense, although he missed the first two games of his career.
So why on earth would the Jets entertain for him? Well, that they already did – from the last season of the transaction deadline. Who didn’t do well with Adams at the time, and the sounds of it, things haven’t changed that much. Adams had made it clear that he wanted a contract to extend this offseason, but the Jets, so far, alone have picked up their fifth year of option. He jumped out of New York’s off-season volunteer in protest, and the relationship between the player and the organization appears to be a bit rocky.
Adams would have wanted to be the highest paid security in the NFL. If the Jets ultimately do not want to pay, or if the situation becomes unsustainable, then the 49ers would be wise to attempt them with something reasonable, a transaction. San Francisco has its own constrained salary to worry about, but given the current window pretender, you get the star player and then let guru Paraag Marathe do what he does best.
To raise Adams away from New York, however, this is going to cost you a pretty penny. This offer, however, could be the kind of solution they finally accepted.
In Tartt, they get a replacement plug-and-play for Adams that would allow them to use the same type of defense, while spending less. He is a quality player who is still at his peak.
Pettis has yet to settle with the 49ers, but let’s not forget that it was a second round two years ago. The Jets are going to go as far as quarterback Sam Darnold is going to take them, and so they added a couple of receivers this off-season, he can never have enough weapons at his disposal.
No matter which of the San Francisco players offers in return, it is very unlikely that the Jets would accept a package without enough compensation plan. The 49ers would not offer the same type of package as the Los Angeles Rams eventually gave up on acquiring Jalen Ramsey after obtaining a front row seat for the disastrous effects it had on their roster, but a second wave of selection – or two – is an entirely different matter.
Money works both ways right now, and while the 49ers may have to tighten their belts a bit in a relatively short period of time, it absolutely would be worth it for them. Adams is the ideal player not only to help the 49ers capitalize on their window rivals, but also to extend it too much.
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As with the Jets, well, it might not be useful to them, but no matter how they end up losing Adams – if that’s what happens – they’ll never get fair value. The longer they wait, the less contractual control they have over it, and therefore the offers go from bad to worse.
Adams probably hasn’t been going anywhere for a while, if at all. But if the 49ers have the opportunity to acquire from it, they must do something inside reason, and maybe a little outside, in order to do it.
This is the price to pay to correct the error.