(This series focuses on the x-factors/wildcards on the Seahawks roster who will make or break Seattle’s 2020 season.)
Who is Jarran Reed? Do we know yet?
He’s had three seasons with a combined 5.0 sacks and one with 10.5. That big year, of course, was in 2018 when he played alongside Frank Clark.
Clark got 13.0 sacks that year before being traded the following offseason and getting a huge payday from the Kansas City Chiefs. Reed has scuffled since, being suspended for six games to start the 2019 season and never really finding his form upon returning to the lineup. Seattle’s second-round pick in 2016 managed just 2.0 sacks in 10 games last season.
Many expected him to sign a short-term prove-it deal this offseason in order to recoup his value and prove that he’s capable of replicating his 2018 campaign. The Seahawks gave him that short-term deal, but it hardly came at a discount: two years for $23 million.
“They re-signed him based on faith and what he did in 2018,” Gregg Bell said on a recent episode of the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “Frank Clark isn’t here anymore, of course. He may not have Jadeveon Clowney. So can Reed stand on his own? We don’t know the true Jarran Reed without Frank Clark.”
The significant investment in Reed was a contributing factor into Seattle’s inability (or unwillingness) to sign a big-name edge rusher this offseason. The Seahawks instead went with Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa in free agency and drafted Alton Robinson and Darrell Taylor. That puts immense pressure on Reed to come through as the highest-paid defensive lineman on the roster.
He’s well removed from both the suspension and the ankle injury that hampered him in 2019. We’ll learn a lot about what caliber of player he really is this season.