Clayton: How Jarran Reed became a ‘personal financial casualty’ for the Seahawks

Apr 2, 2021, 4:03 PM
Seahawks DT Jarran Reed...
The Seahawks cut DT Jarran Reed and he signed with the Chiefs in free agency. (Getty)

Last Friday, the stunning news came out that the Seahawks were trying to trade defensive tackle Jarran Reed before they eventually released him.

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The first thought was that he was cap casualty. The Seahawks were re-doing the contract of guard Gabe Jackson and they were in the process of re-signing Carlos Dunlap. Now, we find out that Reed was not a cap casualty. He became a personal financial casualty.

The Seahawks wanted to keep Reed.

What they proposed was a contract that was going to keep Reed at his $8.5 million salary. What they wanted was cap room. They offered to replace most of his base salary and give him a signing bonus. These kinds of deals are being done so often in the league this offseason because of the $182.5 million salary cap.

Reed didn’t understand. He was hurt that the Seahawks weren’t offering him a contract extension. Reed’s $11.5 million a year contract was scheduled to expire after the season. The Seahawks signed defensive tackle Poona Ford to a two-year, $13.2 million contract that pays him $3.92 million this year and has a $7.5 million base salary in 2022.

What Reed and several players don’t realize is that teams don’t know what next year’s cap number is going to be. They also don’t understand that general managers also have to work under a budget. If Reed has a good season, the cost of extending him could go to $14 million to $15 million a year. The Seahawks would like to get safety Jamal Adams to sign an extension that would make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL and there are other deals that the team needs to look ahead to.

Reed’s agent was fine with the proposal. Reed wasn’t and it cost him. He ended up signing a $5.5 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. He cost himself $3 million and still doesn’t have anything for 2022.

While he landed on a Super Bowl contender, Reed is probably going to have to go elsewhere after this season. Defensive end Frank Clark and defensive tackle Chris Jones are making $20 million a year. There is no way the Chiefs can pay him more than $10 million a year going forward. They are playing big money for Patrick Mahomes, Tyrann Mathieu, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Joe Thuney. Putting more than $50 million a year along the defensive line would be too much.

It’s not certain next year’s salary cap will come close to the $198.2 million it was in 2020.

The Seahawks moved quickly to sign defensive tackle Al Woods to a one-year, $3 million deal. By the way, the Carlos Dunlap came through and it was much less that was initially reported.

When Dunlap agreed it was reported he was getting $8.8 million a year. He ended up getting a two-year deal at $13.6 million, or $6.8 million a year.

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