It’s no secret Reed has been an instrumental piece of the Seahawks defensive line over the last couple seasons. One has to wonder if he will be here after the free agency dust settles.
The Seahawks are set to have 7th most cap space going into next season with $68 million. This may seem like a lot of money, and it is for all intents and purposes. However, with a few big names hitting free agency like Jadeveon Clowney, Germain Ifedi, George Fant, Quinton Jefferson and Jarran Reed that money will dry up fast, if we attempt to retain them all.
This is why Seattle needs to be careful how they spend their cap space over the next few months. They need to identify key contributors and let the rest walk in favor of less expensive options. Whether that be through the draft, trades or free agency.
The biggest area of need is on the defensive line. With all four starting defensive linemen hitting free agency, it gives the Seahawks a fresh opportunity to recreate a once fierce defensive front. The first step in doing so is to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney. He won’t be cheap, and I have a feeling his per year amount could top $23 million. However, with some additional help he could become dominate for Seattle for years to come.
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The second priority would be to sign a mid-high caliber edge player to pair with Clowney. Very similar to what Green Bay did last year with the Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith. A few great candidates would be Dante Fowler, Robert Quinn, Bud Dupree, Jason Pierre-Paul or Arik Armstead. Seattle would likely have to shell out $13-18 million a year for any of these players.
After those two signings, Seattle would have roughly $36-$41 million a year on the payroll. It is important to note the cap hits would be much lower than this figure. The ball park would be $20-$22 million against the cap for both Clowney and an additional edge rusher. This would leave Seattle with another $46-$48 million to spend elsewhere.
Seahawks have the money, but does Reed want it?
This brings me to the meat and bones of the article, Jarran Reed. Just last year, Reed dominated opposing offensive lines to a career high 10.5 sacks and 28 hurries across 459 snaps. He appeared to be ascending into stardom before our eyes. However, he fell back to earth this year. After serving a 6-game suspension, he came back and amassed only 2.5 sacks.
To keep the numbers comparable between 2018 and 2019, I used SISDATAHUB’s advanced pass rush metric. The below chart contains the percentage of snaps he sacked the opposing quarterback, created a hurry and generated a pressure.
Year Sack % Hurry % Pressure %
2016 0.7% 1.9% 3.7%
2017 0.5% 6.7% 7.4%
2018 2.3% 6.1% 9.4%
2019 0.9% 3.6% 5.7%
From what we can gather from this chart, Reed had his worst statistical season since his rookie year. Some of this is can be explained due to the rust he dealt with from his 6-game suspension. However, as the season progressed, Reed didn’t. With this being his contract year, he needed to come back bigger than ever to prove his value. Many sites have his potential valuation sitting in the $3-$10 million range per season. This would be ideal for the Seahawks. Only one problem, Reed doesn’t agree.
He commented back on the post suggesting a $8-$10 million APY contract, stating that was “disrespectfully low.” With the defensive end position taking priority over defensive tackle, one has to wonder if Reed has priced himself out of Seattle.
A few factors could work in the Seahawks favor. Reed has stated he is very happy in Seattle and wants to stay by the team that stayed by him through all of the off-the-field issues. Another would be that the free agency class for defensive line is incredibly deep. It’s completely possible he makes it back on a 1 year prove it deal. This would allow Reed to test the market again next offseason and Seattle to get another key cog back for just $5-$10 million next season. That could prove to be a win-win for both the team and the player.