If Jamal Adams were dealt to the San Francisco 49ers, here’s what to expect.
Adams has seven teams he’d prefer to go to, one of those teams being the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers were able to go from picking No. 2 in the 2019 NFL Draft all the way to the Super Bowl thanks to a phenomenal pass rush, a dominating ground game and a healthy starting quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. They were one play away from winning it all in Miami back in February.
As with any of the potential trade destinations for a frustrated Adams, there are pros and cons to him being shipped to the 49ers. A plus is the Niners don’t play in the same conference as the Jets. He’d probably be pretty stoked about joining a team that was so close to winning a Super Bowl a season ago. The Jets haven’t sniffed the AFC playoffs since he arrived in New York back in 2017.
While he may like to play for them, the 49ers don’t have a ton of guys we’d see as expendable. Had they not sent DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the No. 13 overall pick they used on Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina, the Niners would have had more trade capital in their greatest area of strength along the defensive line. It’ll be challenging, but could they pull this off?
Here’s what a deal may look like for Jamal Adams to the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s not happening, as in it’s not happening, but for comparable purposes, George Kittle would be quite the return for the Jets. He’s one of the two best tight ends in football, along with Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. The fifth-round pick out of Iowa is in a contract year and he’s about to be a record-setting player at the tight end position. In short, he’s the offensive equivalent of Adams.
But we all know trading Kittle to Gang Green would be BEYOND sacrilegious. San Francisco fans would say really mean things for the rest of time to general manager John Lynch if he traded away their Tony Gonzalez. So if Kittle is staying put with the 49ers, do they have any player worth the Jets’ time on the trading block? Not to say they’re on the trading block necessarily, but here are two options.
If the 49ers wanted to land Adams and put in the same secondary with Richard Sherman and company, they’d have to give up someone like Dee Ford or Kwon Alexander. Ford is the most expendable guy for the 49ers because he’s not a homegrown product. He lined up offsides vs. the New England Patriots, and that was his last game as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Alexander hasn’t been with the 49ers that long either, but like Ford, he’s not a homegrown product either. People still remember the LSU standout from his days playing great defense on a bad Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. He or Ford are the marquee names worth putting together a deal for Adams if you’re the Jets. Of course, you’re going to need a first-round pick coming your way, too.
So how do the 49ers fare as a potential trade partner for Adams? It does not feel likely. Being in the NFC is their biggest asset besides having a first-round pick. If the Jets want an immediate impact player, the 49ers don’t have enough readily available at a certain position group to yield New York the best offer possible. It could still happen, but let’s not count on it.
Despite being a preferred destination, Adams isn’t likely to play for the 49ers in 2020.