LA Rams News: Jets S Adams rumors to 49ers could shift power

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

LA Rams News: If NFL rumors are true, a 49ers deal landing Jets safety Jamal Adams could shift the balance of power in the NFC West

The LA Rams had gone for broke after competing in Super Bowl LIII, committing significant contracts to the likes of DT Aaron Donald, QB Jared Goff, RB Todd Gurley, and WR Brandin Cooks. Then the Rams added to the financial commitments by trading two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who is entering the final year of his contract.

Are the San Francisco 49ers following that same trek after competing in Super Bowl LIV?  Well, if you believe the latest NFL rumors, you might draw that conclusion. The latest rumblings from Sports Illustrated writer Grant Cohn suggests that the Rams are in for an even greater challenge in 2020 if the 49ers successfully pick up New York Jets All-Pro safety Jamal Adams.

Right now, the 49ers do not have enough 2020 cap space to absorb Adams salary straight up. That will mean moves that we’ll discuss later.

Going for broke often results in being broke

Are the San Francisco 49ers going for broke? The LA Rams had done so, with very disappointing results. But the 49ers approach may be charging for a return trip to Super Bowl LV on a cast of one-year rentals. The window for NFL success is fleeting. Right now, the 49ers hold one more year to an impressive cast of players who in all likelihood disband in 2021. Who do the 49ers have for one more season?

That’s a lot of players, and NFL talent, which could be the added incentive for the 49ers to work out the deal for Adams in 2020.  What would that deal take?

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The deal of the decade

We know that Jamal Adams has requested a trade. We also know that he has publicly announced acceptable NFL teams he would happily be traded to and the 49ers are one of those teams. But we also know that NY Jets general manager Joe Douglas needs to be wowed to deal away a relatively affordable Pro Bowler like Adams. So that will mean at least one, if not two, first-round picks. And that is where we’ll estimate the deal to land.

Since we’ve already shown the similarities between the 49ers’ pursuit of a follow-up visit to the Super Bowl with that of the LA Rams, let’s continue the comparison in the construction of the trade to pry Adams away from the Jets.  Since the 49ers have successful projections into 2020 already, their first-round pick is the equivalent of a second-round pick in terms of trade value.

Of course, a deal like this shifts the likelihood of winning in 2020 to the San Francisco 49ers.  While the Jets may tweak a deal to include a meaningful player in the deal, they won’t part with less, particularly in light of the diminished value of the 49ers’ picks.

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Careful what you wish for

The shift of power to the 49ers in 2020 is obvious. Even though it adds talent, it will redirect precious salary dollars to Adams. The amount of available salary cap in 2020 is where things get confusing. has the 49ers with $15 million available, and has the 49ers currently at a ($7 million) deficit.   But what happens after 2020? Well, the 2021 NFL salary cap is incredibly uncertain. Right now, with a cap set at $209 million, the 49ers project to have $42 million in space. But if that number drops?  The 49ers will have some tough decisions to make.  Adding Adams to that list of players looking to get paid makes decisions for 2021 all the more difficult.

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But let’s face it, folks. This is a win-now league. The NFL has the unofficial nickname “Not For Long”.  Even the San Francisco 49ers’ front office feels the heat and understands that the pressure to win now is amplified by such a short cycle. Will they pull the trigger on a deal to win-now, and mortgage their future?  There are good reasons to do exactly that. But it’s a dangerous wager to make. The LA Rams are digging out of placing that bet in 2019.  If the 49ers place a similar wager to winning now, they could just as likely be digging out of placing that bet next season.