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Jamal Adams, NFC West, NFC

How does the Jamal Adams trade change the NFC West?

It is now official — the Seattle Seahawks of the NFC West have acquired Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams via trade from the New York Jets. With several players and a slew of future NFL Draft picks moving back and forth between East Rutherford and Seattle, Adams is no doubt the most notable name in the mix while the Seahawks will surely benefit from his services right off the bat.

Adams previously requested a trade away from the Jets as he had grown disgruntled with the team’s higher-ups in addition to the direction in which New York was heading generally speaking. Now much happier as a member of the Seahawks after spending the first three seasons of his professional playing career as a member of “Gang Green,” Adams will have the ability to make an immediate impact for Seattle in the NFC.

Obviously, the fact that Adams is an All-Pro caliber player makes this an immensely interesting deal for the Seahawks, a franchise that has continued to pride itself on the stellar play that it often receives from its defensive backs. However, things also just got a whole lot more interesting in the NFC West division as a whole as this group was already slated to be one of the best in the NFL from top to bottom in 2020-21.

Prior to this deal between the Seahawks and Jets, it appeared as though Seattle and the Los Angeles Rams took a step back this offseason with both the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals making major strides in a variety of different ways. With Adams on board in Seattle, though, the Seahawks have firmly asserted themselves into the highly-competitive race for a NFC West crown in 2020-21 — a battle that now appears to be a three-way race with the aforementioned Rams trailing the rest of the bunch at the present moment.

Even so, and despite the fact that the Rams currently look a bit different than in years past personnel wise, Los Angeles is only a few seasons removed from a NFC West title, NFC Championship and an appearance in the Super Bowl. When the worst team in the division — on paper — has a resume like the Rams, it is pretty evident that things will be heated atop the NFC West in no time.

With the Seahawks managing to add a player like Adams, the potentially infamous trade will go on to serve as the team’s most notable offseason move this time around. In doing so, the Seahawks have upped the ante for the Cardinals and 49ers, NFC West teams which also made intriguing moves this offseason.

In the case of the Cardinals, Arizona traded for former Houston Texans All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who will now be paired with rising NFC quarterback Kyler Murray, running back Kenyan Drake and fellow wideouts Christian Kirk and Larry Fitzgerald. Not only bolstering the team’s offensive attack, though, the Cardinals added former Clemson Tigers defensive standout Isaiah Simmons in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Once seen as the weak link in this division, there is now absolutely no question that the Cardinals will be competing at a high level in every facet of the game in 2020.

Slated to enter the upcoming season as the defending NFC champions and most recent winners of the NFC West, the 49ers somehow got even better as well. Adding former Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk as a result of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the 49ers also acquired former Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams, a trade that will allow San Francisco to properly replace the recently retired Joe Staley. Like the Cardinals, the 49ers didn’t just focus on offense en route to selecting former South Carolina Gamecocks defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw in the first round this past spring.

Because of all of the offensive firepower that the 49ers and Cardinals added to the fold throughout this very busy and unique offseason, it will be important for NFC West franchises to build stout defenses this season. With the Seahawks attempting to do just that by adding a perennial Pro Bowler in Adams, Seattle has also managed to acquire a player that can lead a defense single-handedly. The most important issue that will certainly need dealing with, however, is the fact that this NFL season will be much different than any other.