The Seahawks have several decisions they need to make on their own free agents. One of them is whether to keep Jadeveon Clowney or Jarran Reed or both.
The Seahawks will have about $60 million to spend on free agents in 2020. This number is the sixth-highest in the NFL, so that is good. But a good chunk of that cash might need to go towards re-signing some of Seattle’s own free agents. One decision Seattle must make is along its defensive line and whether to try to keep Jadeveon Clowney or Jarran Reed or neither or both.
It is odd how much a season can make. Prior to 2019, the Seahawks might have put more emphasis on re-signing Reed instead of Clowney, had Clowney been a Seahawk prior to last year. In 2018, Reed had a great season with 10.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. But 2019 started with a six-game suspension for Reed and when he did return he wasn’t nearly as effective as he was the previous year.
Last season, Reed played 10 games, had just 2 sacks, zero tackles for loss and 8 quarterback hits (as opposed to 24 in 2018). This was probably not the way Reed wanted to have the walk year of his contract develop. And the Seahawks surely needed a better performance by Reed, especially when it comes to supplying interior pass rush.
Clowney was traded for prior to 2019. Though people seem to think he has a history riddled with injuries, Clowney six games in the last four seasons. He also showed toughness by playing through a core injury for a lot of the last half of the season for Seattle.
Clowney was double-teamed more than any other edge rusher in the NFL in 2019, mostly because he was getting no help in terms of pass rush. Clowney managed only 3 sacks, but the difference he made when he was on the field was quantifiable. With Clowney Seattle pressured opposing quarterbacks 6 percent more than when he wasn’t on the field. And if Clowney were to leave, Seattle has no one on the roster near his potential.
Clowney will likely want $20 million a season with a multi-year contract. Reed might want $14+ million a year. That would be $34 million a year taken from the $60 million available. Reed has had one good season out of four. Clowney is still young by sometimes struggles with injuries. Still, if the Seahawks were smart, they would bring Clowney back and let Reed go.