The Seahawks are expected to either trade or release veteran defensive tackle Jarran Reed, a source confirmed, after talks on a new contract recently broke down.
Reed, who has started 63 games in five years with the Seahawks, foreshadowed a move was coming when he tweeted late Thursday afternoon, “It’s been real 12s tomorrow at 1 it’s official … on to the next chapter.’’
As first reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Seahawks hoped to get Reed to agree to a restructured contract that would have reduced his 2021 cap hit of $13.975 million for the final season of his contract.
Instead, as Rapoport reported, Reed wanted a long-term deal, and with negotiations going nowhere, the team has decided to try to trade Reed.
If a trade does not happen, then the team could release Reed, a source confirmed.
Specifically, according to Rapoport, the Seahawks hoped to convert some of Reed’s $8.325 million salary for 2020 into a bonus that would have allowed them to reduce the cap hit (possibly using voidable years or maybe adding a year onto the deal).
Either a trade or a release will save the Seahawks $8.975 million against the 2021 salary cap, money needed to help fit in a number of moves the team has made in recent days.
Trading or releasing Reed also means accepting a $5 million dead cap hit as a prorated share of the $10 million signing bonus Reed received last spring when he signed a two-year deal with the Seahawks. That contract was worth up to $23 million overall with $14.1 million guaranteed.
A team trading for Reed would take on Reed’s $8.975 million salary for this season. If he is released, Reed becomes a free agent and teams could bid for his services.
The Seahawks were listed on Thursday afternoon as being more than $6 million over the salary cap by OvertheCap.com. Recent moves include the signing of defensive end Kerry Hyder to a two-year deal worth up to $6.5 million that the team announced Thursday afternoon.
The Seahawks see Hyder as able to play the five-technique end spot and also move inside in the nickel. His addition means they could view 2019 first-round pick L.J. Collier, who also plays end and tackle, as playing more at tackle, possibly helping to make Reed more expendable.
The Seahawks also re-signed tackle Poona Ford last week and has Bryan Mone and Cedrick Lattimore on its roster as tackles who saw action last year. In January, they signed Myles Adams, who was an undrafted rookie free agent a year ago out of Rice and spent the end of the season on the practice squad.
The Seahawks would most likely try to trade Reed to add 2021 draft picks — they have only three and only one in the first three rounds.
The Seahawks recently acquired guard Gabe Jackson from the Raiders in a similar situation. The Raiders were expected to release Jackson in a cap-saving move before Seattle offered a fifth-round pick.
A mid-round pick is regarded as probably the best the Seahawks could get for the 28-year-old.
Reed turned in one of the best seasons any Seahawks defensive tackle in 2018 when he had 10 1/2 sacks — the only other tackles in team history to have double-digit sacks in a season are Hall of Famers Cortez Kennedy and John Randle.
But he was suspended in offseason in 2019 for his role in a domestic violence incident in 2017 for which he was not charged and missed the first six games of the season, and he managed only 2 1/2 sacks in 10 games in 2019.
Reed was second on the team last season with 6.5 sacks when he played 848 snaps and was on the field for almost 74% of all the Seahawks’ defensive plays. But his play was viewed as suffering in other areas — Pro Football Focus rated Reed 89th out of 125 defensive tackles.
The Seahawks could look to the draft or free agency to supplement the defensive tackle spot. They have had success getting good play out of relatively inexpensive veteran tackles.
Among those available are former UW standout Danny Shelton; Shamar Stephen, who played for the Seahawks in 2018; and former Bengal Geno Atkins, who was recently released. Another possibility could be 10-year vet Jurrell Casey, most recently of Denver, who played for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at USC.