Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed has been suspended for the first six games of the 2019 season for a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy relating to an incident of alleged domestic violence from 2017, the league announced Monday morning.
The Seattle Times has confirmed Reed is being suspended for an incident that occurred April 27, 2017, when Reed was investigated by the Bellevue Police Department when a woman filed a complaint of an assault at a house in Bellevue.
Meeghan Black, Public Information Officer for the Bellevue Police Department, confirmed Monday that Reed, 26, was investigated in connection with the incident, which was initially reported by KING 5, and that the case was referred to the City Attorney’s office for potential charges. Black said prosecutors then declined to pursue the case further.
A heavily-redacted 57-page Bellevue Police Department report obtained by The Times states that the police department recommended fourth-degree assault-domestic violence charges against Reed but that the city declined to file.
The reasoning for the city declining to press charges is redacted. The memo declining charges is dated Dec. 22, 2017.
The report states that police were called to Reed’s Bellevue residence at 3:06 a.m. on April 27, 2017, when a woman — whose named is redacted but is identified as 21 years old, 5 feet 2 and 140 pounds — called to say “she had just been dragged out of the residence by the owner of the house.’’ Reed is identified as the homeowner.
The report states Reed, who is listed by the Seahawks as 6 feet, 3 inches and 306 pounds, had been having a party that night and police had been called at 12:49 a.m. for a “noise complaint,’’ after which the residents said “they would quiet the party down.’’
The woman said in the report that she and Reed had been “dating for about a month’’ and Reed had paid to fly her in from Atlanta. The woman and Reed got into an argument, according to the report, when another woman — identified as “a stripper’’ — said at the party that she and Reed had been having a relationship.
As the argument escalated, the report states the first woman claimed Reed “grabbed (her) by the throat and pulled her into the connected bedroom’’ and then released her.
Later, after the woman decided to pack up her belongings and move to another bedroom in the house, the woman alleges Reed ripped a bed sheet off and told her angrily to leave, then “grabbed (her) by the right wrist and started dragging her across the bedroom floor to the staircase (going downstairs to the main floor).’’
The woman said Reed dragged her down “a couple of stairs’’ before she freed herself and ran to a bathroom at the end of the hallway, closed the door and called 911.
Reed is alleged to have chased after the woman and broke open the bathroom door. The report states an unidentified friend of Reed’s who was at the party held Reed back once he broke open the door and persuaded Reed to leave, then Reed drove away from the house and was not present when police arrived.
The woman stated she had injuries to her right wrist and left elbow and that she had initially also hurt her knees, but that by the time she was talking to the officer they no longer hurt. The woman was taken by police to then meet up with friends — she said she had a flight back home that morning.
The report states the responding officer noticed the door “was split open near the doorknob’’ and that the door frame “was completely broken off the wall’’ and was laying on the floor inside the bedroom.
The report states Reed was later advised by his lawyer “not to give a statement to anyone.’’
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Reed’s appeal was denied Friday morning after the league had investigated the incident and then informed Reed and the Seahawks of a potential penalty.
In a statement Monday, the Seahawks said, “We are aware of the situation involving Jarran Reed and have followed league and law enforcement protocol since the alleged incident in April of 2017.”
Reed released a statement via Twitter early Monday afternoon saying he disagrees with the NFL’s decision but apologized “for putting myself in a position” to potentially be disciplined.
“I apologize to those close to me including my family, the entire Seattle Seahawks organization and fans of the team for putting myself in a position where I could be disciplined by the NFL,” Reed wrote. “While I totally disagree with the decision of the NFL, I still must accept it and take responsibility for the situation. I have learned from this and will do everything I can to make my friends, family, teammates, fans and the Seahawks proud of me moving forward.”
The NFL has sweeping power to discipline players and others associated with the league via its personal conduct policy.
It’s not known why the league waited for roughly 27 months before suspending Reed. The incident occurred following Reed’s rookie season and he has played each of the past two years. As of Monday evening, the league had not responded to a request from The Times seeking further comment (the NFL did release a statement last week when it did not suspend Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill, who was also the subject of an investigation into domestic violence allegations).
Reed can take part in training camp, which begins Thursday, and play in preseason games before the suspension takes hold. The Seahawks will then be able to replace his spot on the 53-man roster once the season begins and he serves his suspension. Reed can then return to the team for practice Oct. 14, following the sixth game of the season against Cleveland on Oct. 13, and can return to play on Oct. 20 against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field.
Reed is suspended without pay, which will cost him roughly $409,411 of his $1.16 million salary for the 2019 season.
For Reed, the news comes at a particularly vital time as he is entering the final year of his initial four-year rookie contract that was due to pay him $4.889 million overall (minus what he now will not get because of the suspension).
Reed, though, has been hoping to get an extension after having had a career-high 10½ sacks last season, and NFL observers thought it good news for him when Atlanta’s Grady Jarrett last week signed a new deal averaging $17 million a season.
“That helps really define the (defensive-tackle) market,’’ former NFL agent Joel Corry who now works for CBSSports.com and other outlets told the Times of a contract that makes Jarrett the third-highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL, behind Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Fletcher Cox of Philadelphia, and that he thought Reed might want to match.
Seattle, though, is thought to be first hoping to get an extension completed with middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, which could happen as early as this week.
More relevant in terms of Reed and for the Seahawks’ immediate plans is how to play the first six games of the season — which includes contests against some of the best offenses in the NFL, such as the Steelers in Week 2, Saints in Week 3, Rams in Week 5 and Cleveland in Week 6 — without the player who is by far their best defensive tackle entering the 2019 season.
And it further throws into flux a defensive line that was already regarded as a question following the trade of Frank Clark, who led the team last year with 13 sacks, meaning the two players who accounted for 23½ of Seattle’s 43 sacks last season won’t be around for the first six games of the year. The team signed free agent Ziggy Ansah to replace Clark, but it remains unclear when he will be available after he had shoulder surgery late last year.
Seattle could look to try to bolster its defensive line with available veterans or other free agents, or also just rely on some younger players. But it will be difficult to make up for the overall presence of Reed, who played 773 defensive snaps last season, the most of any Seattle defensive linemen and 78% of Seattle’s defensive snaps overall.
Seattle has been projecting to have a starting defensive tackle duo of Reed and second-year player Poona Ford, who is replacing Shamar Stephen, last year’s other primary starter at tackle who signed with the Vikings as a free agent.
Seattle signed veteran free agents Al Woods and Jamie Meder in the offseason and each now looms as more critical to help get the Seahawks through Reed’s suspension. Seattle had also been thought possibly interested in reuniting with Ahtyba Rubin, who started at tackle for Seattle in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the latter year working alongside Reed.
The Seahawks also selected tackle Demarcus Christmas of Florida State in the sixth round of the draft last April and also signed undrafted rookie free agents Bryan Mone of Michigan and Jay-Tee Tiuli of Eastern Washington. The team also lists veterans Quinton Jefferson and Nazir Jones as tackles, but each plays more of a role of the five-technique end spot in the base defense and moving inside in the nickel.
Reed was drafted in the second round out of Alabama in 2016 and has started 37 games in that time, playing in all but two of a possible 49 regular-season and postseason games, starting 31 games the past two seasons.
His 10½ sacks last season were just the third time in Seahawks history that a tackle had 10 or more sacks in a season. The others were Hall of Famers Cortez Kennedy and John Randle.
Reed also had a career-high 50 tackles last season and recovered two fumbles.
He was particularly productive down the stretch last year with two sacks against the 49ers in Week 15 and then two more against Arizona in the regular-season finale. He also had two sacks in a Week 3 victory over Dallas.