RENTON, Wash. -- It took five months of negotiations, $38 million in guarantees and a piece of motherly advice for Jamal Adams' record-breaking contract extension to finally get done.
Michelle Adams helped push the deal through when she sent her son a text message Monday night from back home in Dallas.
"She said my full name, and when my mother says my full name, I think I need to pay attention," Adams said. "She gave me a nice little paragraph and basically just told me that you don't have to prove anything else to anybody. You did enough. We're happy. As long as my family's happy and I'm happy, I can come and do what I love to do, that's all that matters to me."
The Seahawks are just as happy to have the 25-year-old Adams locked up for the long term and back on the field after a contract dispute that dragged out three weeks into training camp. It ended Tuesday morning, when they signed him to a four-year, $70 million extension that makes him the NFL's highest-paid safety.
The deal has a max value of $72 million over the four new years, a $20 million signing bonus and includes $38 million guaranteed, agents Kevin Conner and Robert Brown of Universal Sports told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday.
The extension will be added to the final year of Adams' rookie deal, so he's now under contract through the 2025 season. There also is an option bonus worth $12.5 million that can be exercised on the first day of the 2022 league year, according to Schefter.
"This was the plan the whole time, was to go after a great football player, get him in the program, pay what you've got to pay to get it done in terms of draft picks and then knowing that we were going to do a contract," coach Pete Carroll said. "It took a while to get it done, but it's over now."
The Seahawks began negotiating with Adams' agents early this offseason, and a source told ESPN that their initial offer was higher than the $15.25 million yearly average that Justin Simmons is making on the deal he signed earlier this offseason with the Denver Broncos that made him the NFL's highest-paid safety at the time.
Adams' new average salary of $17.5 million over that extension easily tops that mark, and he becomes the NFL's 17th-highest-paid defender, per Spotrac data. He also becomes the team's third-highest-paid player behind quarterback Russell Wilson ($35 million per season) and linebacker Bobby Wagner ($18 million).
Adams reported on time for training camp, but he wasn't practicing with his contract unsettled.
"Obviously it was tough to come out here and continue to watch and not be involved like I wanted to, but I understood the business, and we were working together the whole time," he said. "Don't believe anything out there -- everything was good. There's no relationship break."
Adams was set to make $9.86 million in 2021, the final year of the rookie contract that he signed with the New York Jets as the No. 6 pick in 2017. The Seahawks inherited that contract when they acquired Adams last summer for a package of picks that included Seattle's first-rounders in 2021 and 2022, making it their boldest trade of the Carroll/general manager John Schneider era.
Was he prepared to miss games if he didn't have a new deal by the Seahawks' Sept. 12 opener against the Indianapolis Colts?
"Hell no, man," he said with a smile. "I'm not Boo Boo the Fool. I wasn't not going to take the contract, so no. Where I'm from, we're definitely taking that. Mom called [after her text]. She called twice, and when mom called and she told me I needed to take the contract, it was a no-brainer. Momma knows best."
Adams was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2019 and has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons. He set the league's single-season record for sacks by a defensive back last season with 9.5. That figure led the team, as did his 14 tackles for loss and his 30 pressures, which, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, were 14 more than any other defensive back in the league.
He missed four games with a groin injury and played through injuries to both shoulders (including a torn labrum that needed surgery), two broken fingers (which also needed surgery) and a hyperextended elbow.
"What I don't know that our fans realized last year is how he played hurt, played one-armed for a number of games because his shoulder was bad," Carroll said. "If you were at the stadium you probably could see that more clearly. But the toughness that he demonstrated and the grit and all the beautiful aspects that he put forth, our fans I think will come to understand that and appreciate it. He's really something."
Adams had joined many of his teammates in skipping the voluntary offseason program -- several veteran players did not take part until the final week -- and was excused from mandatory minicamp so he could tend to a family matter. Tuesday was his first practice since last season, so the Seahawks limited his reps.
Carroll said Adams is "razor-sharp conditioning-wise but not football-wise." The plan is to slowly ramp him back up. Carroll is undecided as to whether Adams will play in any of the two remaining preseason games.
He praised Adams for how he comported himself amid negotiations, even as they turned into a staredown in recent weeks.
"In this case, we had to really stand our ground and when you do that, the relationships become more crucial," Carroll said. "What I loved about how this went down was Jamal hung with us the whole time. We stayed in communication ... and talked our way through it, the emotional part of it and the challenging part of it, the business part of it. We made it through all of that."
And as Carroll noted, Adams stood his ground as well.
"That's why it took five months," Carroll said. "They were very firm ... It was just a real intense negotiation, obviously more so near the end here. There was a lot of quiet time in between all of that, but I thought both sides really competed really hard in this thing. And really it's a great conclusion for us. For him, too. It's a great deal for him. He knows that. Enormous deal. But is a great deal for our franchise because this is the commitment that we made a long time ago and we were able to see it to this point."
Adams FaceTimed his father, former NFL running back George Adams, as he signed the deal.
"He's just so proud," the younger Adams said. "Just making my father proud and making my loved ones proud, it's nothing like that. I don't really care about what anybody says about me. It's about my family. That's my why. That's why I do what I do on this field. So just seeing how happy they are, it's nothing like it."