RENTON — Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed says an NFL suspension levied for his involvement in a domestic violence incident in 2017, and a police report detailing the crime, don’t accurately portray either what happened that night or the kind of person he is.
But Reed, in his first public comments since it was learned he will have to miss the first six games of the NFL season, said Thursday he understands he has no choice but to accept the NFL’s decision even if he said he was unclear why the league waited so long before making a decision.
“Of course I disagree, you know, with the decision, based on the facts,’’ Reed said.
Reed, though, said he didn’t want to state publicly what he disagreed with, just said that “based on the facts, we just disagree with it.’’
Reed was alleged to have grabbed a woman by the throat to walk her into a room as an argument escalated, then later to have grabbed her by a wrist and dragged her down a couple of stairs as the argument continued, and then breaking a door off its hinges when the woman tried to get away to call 9-1-1. The 21-year-old woman identified herself as a girlfriend of Reed’s.
Bellevue Police investigated the incident, which occurred on April 27, 2017, and recommended a fourth degree assault charge. City prosecutors, however, declined to go further with the case, stating there was insufficient evidence to prove the charge.
Many have questioned why the NFL waited 27 months before suspending Reed.
Asked about the timing, Reed said “I don’t understand why but it is a decision they made and I’ve just got to move forward.’’
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll also declined to directly criticize the timing while several times noting how long it had been since the incident occurred.
“It just took such a long time,’’ said Carroll. “We didn’t know what was going on. We could have heard much sooner than this. So we didn’t know. We weren’t sure.’’
Reed said he hoped the fact that he’s since played two full seasons meant that the NFL had decided not to punish him.
“It was in the back of my mind that it was kind of still a possibility,’’ Reed said. “But I was hoping they would just come to an agreement that it wouldn’t be like that. But they made their decision and all I can do is respect it.’’
Asked why the NFL punished him when he was not arrested or charged, Reed noted that the league “has their own penalty people and that’s what they decided.’’
The suspension puts Reed in an awkward position as camp begins.
He can take part in all of training camp and play in preseason games but then will have to stay away from the team for the first six weeks, able to return on the day after the sixth game of the year at Cleveland, which is on Oct. 13.
“That’s very hard to know I’m not going to be out there with my guys,’’ said Reed, who has started all but one game the last two seasons and last year played 78 percent of the defensive snaps, most of any defensive lineman. “It really hurts.’’
The Seahawks also have to spend some of camp grooming players to replace Reed when he is gone.
Seattle on Wednesday signed 10-year veteran Earl Mitchell and Carroll indicated he will play a major role in replacing Reed, as will fellow veteran free agent signee Al Woods.
“Whenever we lose someone it’s ‘the next guy up,’’’ Carroll said. “And that’s what this situation will call for. It’s an opportunity for other guys and we are going to watch it unfold.’’
Reed is entering the final season of his four-year rookie contract and there has been speculation the team would at some point like to extend him. Getting something done with middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is first on the docket, though, and the Seahawks could wait until after the season to decide what to do with Reed.
Reed said he didn’t think the suspension would impact the team’s decision, something to which Carroll agreed.
“I feel like he has done a tremendous job of dealing with the situation, letting us know,’’ Carroll said. “We’ve known of this for a great deal of time now and we have watched his maturity and his way of handling things. I have no hesitation in supporting him down the road.’’
Carroll added that he is confident Reed “understands this is a very serious issue. You can just feel that he has learned from this and is moving ahead.’’
Said Reed of whether the suspension will impact his future with the Seahawks: “I can’t really answer that question but I don’t think it would. I’ve shown great faith and great maturity on and off the field, as well. I think they’ve got good faith in me and I’ve got good faith in myself. I was raised right. I have good character. I’m a great person regardless of what the picture portrays.’’