The Seahawks abruptly ended their first ‘Legion of Boom’. With Saturday’s blockbuster trading for former Jets security Jamal Adams, they can finally feel good about the potential for a real sequel.
Two offseasons after the breakup of Seattle’s secondary, the team can rely on it to have a full game group again. Adding Adams was the most talked-about move, but it wouldn’t have been asked unless the three other cornerback and free safety starts were already topped up.
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Adams, at 6-1, 213 pounds, isn’t quite as tall as Kam Chancellor (6-3, 225 pounds), but he’s the same type of rare strong safety. Adams’s business card is hard and powerful. Like Chancellor, he is also good at covering aspects. Early in his career, Adams was also a great pass-rusher for the position.
The Seahawks gave up a lot to get Adams – two first round picks, a third round pick, and safety Bradley McDougald. But in their minds they get another transcendent multidimensional defender, or literally one worth several lesser players.
McDougald has been an adequate interpretation for Chancellor in the past two seasons, but he was a huge all-round drop-off. Adams vastly improves the place and suggests Pete Caroll and Ken Norton Jr. able to do much more with their entire defense.
Before going supersonic with Adams, the Seahawks quietly chopped well in an attempt to replace the top corner Richard Sherman and also protect Earl Thomas. A rookie third-round pick in 2017 in Sherman’s last season in Seattle, Shaquill Griffin was well groomed as an additional corner, to the point of emerging as a Pro Bowler in 2019.
Griffin now returns as the team’s second best corner. The Seahawks were lucky when the Washington Football Team wanted to move Quinton Dunbar, but didn’t see him as a good philosophical fit with new defensive coach Ron Rivera. For a round five pick, the Seahawks landed a wide angle (6-2, 202 pounds) with similar physical skills to Sherman (6-3, 195 pounds).
Dunbar has an off-field cloud of an upcoming Florida lawsuit after he was charged with armed robbery in May, allegations he has vehemently denied. But regardless of the outcome, all signs point to being available to the Seahawks for the 2020 season. In just 11 games for Washington last season during a hamstring injury, Dunbar had four interceptions.
If Dunbar could stay healthy and different on the field, the Seahawks would have a great 1-2 coverage shot with him and Griffin offering the spectacular and stable, respectively. After Tre Flowers struggled all the way through the playoffs, they could no longer afford to be out of a liability. Now Flowers is going back into the mix for what can be an effective situational nickel by the committee.
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The Seahawks solved Thomas’s absence with a clever mid-season swap for former Lions security Quandre Diggs. Diggs was a bit out of place as a strong security in Detroit’s defense; after coming to Seattle in 2019, he became productive again, including three interceptions in five games. Before that, Diggs, like Griffin, earned the alternate status of Pro Bowl.
Diggs, like Dunbar, cost the Seahawks just a fifth-rounder. Should Dunbar offer the same type of return, the Seahawks would end up with two absolute steals. It made sense that Carroll and general manager John Schneider became more aggressive in getting Adams.
The Seahawks always have a Super Bowl window up because of Russell Wilson. They have some questions about the pass rush, but they still have Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright anchoring the second tier, now accompanied by the promise of rookie first linebacker Jordyn Brooks. Adams essentially gives them an extra linebacker at all times.
Seattle’s seventh back is again a strong backbone, where stopping, covering and blistering are all trumps. As for that support, the Seahawks can get by with a more rotating front pass pass of four, and there’s a possibility that Jadeveon Clowney will still return.
The Seahawks have a great sense of a successful identity. They rediscovered the power running game and the deep passing game they needed to keep getting the best out of Wilson. Likewise, they longed for the fame and certainty of the ‘Legion of Boom’.
After Griffin, Diggs and Dunbar, Adams was the exclamation mark they needed. With him cleaning up in the lineup, the Seahawks should feel much better about hitting a championship-level grand slam soon.