Jarran Reed needs to earn that new Seahawks contract

The Seahawks kept Jarran Reed on a two-year contract for 2020. He has to prove he’s more than a one-year wonder to stay in 2021.

The Seahawks faced some tough choices with their mass of free agents this offseason. Many talking heads – or writing heads, in my case – thought the Hawks would re-sign Jadeveon Clowney instead of Jarran Reed. Clowney may still be signed, but Seattle opted for the less expensive option in Reed. I’m not so sure they made the right choice.

Reed was stellar in 2018, I’m more than happy to say. 10.5 sacks at defensive tackle are the numbers you might expect from Aaron Donald, and no one else. Reed was the first Seahawks pure defensive tackle to break double digits in sacks since the great Cortez Kennedy, who did it way back in 1992. The Hall of Famer managed the feat just once, by the way. John Randle and Michael Bennett frequently lined up at end, so I’m not counting their sack wizardry. Include them if you want, but it’s still a very rare feat.

How rare? Well, outside of that breakout year, Reed has a career total of five sacks. That’s five sacks in 31 starts. Not bad for an interior lineman, but hardly Aaron Donald numbers. If you eliminate Donald’s spectacular 20.5 sacks in 2018, he still has 51.5 sacks in 74 starts. That’s an average of 11.1 sacks per full season, compared to Reed’s average of 2.6 sacks. Not much of a comparison, is it?

Jarran Reed of the Seahawks

SEATTLE, WA – OCTOBER 20: Defensive tackle Jarran Reed #91 of the Seattle Seahawks. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Yet Reed was looking for a huge contract this offseason. As Geoff Shull cited in his fine price, Reed stated that $10 million was “disrespectfully low”. Dude, according to Pro Football Focus, you ranked 80th in the league among interior defenders. That is what I would call disrespectful. Yes, Reed was suspended for six games. He still managed just two sacks in 10 contests. That seems to fit the $8 – $10 million range to me.

Underpaying Jarran Reed?

Reed did eventually sign for $23 million over two years. That’s underpaying him for 2018, but definitely overpaying him for last season. Once again, Geoff points out that this deal isn’t quite so bad for the Seahawks as it might first appear. If he has another subpar season in 2020 – whenever that season happens – Seattle can cut him without a single penny in hitting the cap.

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I am very hopeful that Reed returns to form this season. No, I don’t expect double-digit sacks again, but seven or eight should be in his grasp. Just like a quarterback’s jersey. Hopefully, it will be that male model they have masquerading as a QB in San Francisco. If Jarran Reed can hit those numbers, then he’ll definitely have earned his new contract.