Arrow-right Camera

Color Scheme

Subscribe now
Seattle Seahawks

In major roster shake-up, Seahawks release Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs and Will Dissly

By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

In the first major personnel moves of the Mike Macdonald era, the Seahawks released safeties Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs and tight end Will Dissly on Tuesday.

The team made the releases of all three official Tuesday afternoon.

All were released with an eye on saving significant sums in cash and salary cap for the 2024 season.

Combined, the releases of the three will save $34.5 million in cash as well almost $25 million in salary-cap space.

All three are free agents and can sign with another team.

The moves come before the NFL’s free-agent signing period that begins March 13 and leave the Seahawks with $36.2 million in overall cap space and $28.7 million in effective cap space (meaning, cap space when accounting for the signing draft picks), via That boosted them to 16th among all NFL teams in available cap space. They were 22nd before Tuesday’s moves.

The Seahawks can, and almost certainly will, make some more moves to create more space heading into free agency.

The Adams release had been rumored for a while but still is a jolt, because it represents an unceremonious conclusion to one of the bigger trades in team history.

The Seahawks dealt two first-round picks — in 2021 and 2022 — to the Jets for Adams in July 2020.

After he made the All-Pro second team in 2020 with 9.5 sacks, he battled injuries the past three years, playing just 22 games, and only 34 overall for the Seahawks.

Adams had two years remaining on his contract but no guaranteed money left. His contract included cap hits of $26.9 million and $27.9 million the next two years and salaries of $16.5 million and $17.5 million. Those were the last two years on a four-year contract worth up to $72 million signed in August 2021.

Diggs and Dissly were entering the final years of their contracts and also had no guaranteed money left on their deals.

Diggs was due a salary of $10.4 million in 2024 with a cap hit of $21.2 million.

Dissly had a salary of $6.4 million in 2024 with a cap hit of $10.07 million.

The release of Adams and Diggs means the Seahawks are searching for safeties. Julian Love will return, but they have no other safeties with significant experience. One option could be Baltimore’s Geno Stone. He thrived last season with Macdonald, who was the Ravens’ defensive coordinator, and will be a free agent.

The Seahawks acquired Diggs in a trade with Detroit in October 2019 and Adams the following summer. They hoped the two would combine to give them a safety tandem to rival that of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.

After a promising start in 2020, when the Seahawks went 12-4 and Adams and Diggs made the Pro Bowl, the plan started to go awry.

Adams played only 12 games in 2021 as Seattle went 7-10 and suffered a season-ending torn quad muscle in the 2022 opener. He returned for the fifth game of the 2023 season.

The knee continued to bother Adams, and he played only nine games in 2023 before being shelved for the rest of the season.

His last game was a 28-16 loss against the 49ers in Santa Clara on Dec. 10 when Adams was beaten for a 54-yard TD pass to Deebo Samuel.

The TD gave San Francisco a 14-10 lead in the second quarter that it never gave up, and drew the ire of coach Pete Carroll.

“It’s Deebo coming across on a deep cross right to Jamal,” Carroll said. “It’s something that we’ve seen and we work on and that should never happen, particularly on third-and-11.”

The play was among several seemed to show Adams was nowhere near back to full health. He was inactive the next two weeks finally placed on injured reserve, ending his season, and his career in Seattle.

Seahawks president of football operations John Schneider foreshadowed that a move might be coming with Adams last week at the NFL combine when he was asked how Adams might fit in Macdonald’s defense.

“Is he in his plans?” Schneider said. “Yeah, I mean, we’ll find out. We’ll keep working through things. … We’re still trying to figure all that out.”

Schneider said the hope was Adams will be healthier in 2024.

“It was a rough year for him,’’ Schneider said of Adams’ 2023 season. “… I’m sure Jamal would tell you guys it was hard for him. He fought his tail off to get back. He was constantly trying to be out there, trying to be active and working with the coaching staff, working with the trainers, strength and conditioning guys. I would expect him to be much healthier next year, yes.”

Now he won’t be in the Seahawks’ plans and at age 28 will have to jump start his career elsewhere.

He’ll leave a complicated legacy as one of the more star-crossed trades in Seattle’s history. His 2020 season showed why the team wanted him — and what he could have been for the Seahawks.

What they gave up in draft picks, plus his contract means the trade will be viewed as one of the worst in Schneider’s 14-plus years as GM.

Via, Adams was paid just over $50 million in salary and bonus by the Seahawks. He will also carry a dead cap hit of $10.4 million in 2025. Those dead cap hits would have been reduced to $10.4 million for each season if they had designated Adams as a post-June 1 cut, with the cap savings increased to $16.5 million and $17.5 million, respectively.

The Seahawks designated Adams as a standard release, and his cap savings will be just over $6 million this year and $17.5 million next year. But the news roughly 10 days ago that the salary cap for 2024 will be higher than teams expected — from $224.8 million last year to $255.4 million this year — makes it easier to take on the bigger dead cap hit this year.

Diggs, who turned 31 in January, made three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2020-22 and was a team captain the last two seasons. He saw his production drop in 2023 as the Seahawks’ defense finished 25th in points allowed and 30th in yards allowed, making just one interception after recording 14 total the previous three years.

Diggs appeared to acknowledge the move when he took to the social media platform X and stated “Forever grateful.”

Given the high cap hit and savings, Dissly’s release was also not unexpected.

A fourth-round draft pick out of Washington in 2018, Dissly, 27, saw his playing time and stats drop significantly in 2023. His snap counts fell from 60% to 39% in 2023, his receptions from 34 to 17 and yards from 349 to 172.