Jarran Reed swaps $8.5 million for $5 million

NFL: DEC 16 Seahawks at 49ers
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Two birds in the hand are always better than one in the bush.

Defensive tackle Jarran Reed apparently has learned this lesson the hard way, swapping $8.5 million in compensation that the Seahawks apparently were ready to guarantee as part of a restructuring for a $5 million deal (that can be worth “up to $7 million” based on undisclosed, so far, factors) with the Chiefs.

Reed reportedly responded to the request for a restructuring with a demand for a long-term deal. That prompted a failed effort to trade Reed (which should have been a sign as to where this was heading) before the decision to cut him.

Chiefs fans are applauding and defending the move, because why wouldn’t they? It helps their team to get a competent defensive tackle to pair with Chris Jones, and they got Reed for $3.5 million less than he was due to make in Seattle.

But let’s not call this a good move for Reed. Yes, he’s gone from a team that hasn’t been past the divisional round since 2014 to a team that has qualified for three straight AFC Championships and the last two Super Bowls. (Few players would say it’s worth $3.5 million for a roll of the dice to win a championship.)

Sure, Reed will see more favorable matchups, with Jones attracting more attention than Reed. That said, does anyone think other teams won’t factor that in when putting a value on Reed next year, when he becomes a free agent? If fans realize that Reed’s play will benefit from being next to Jones in 2021, pro personnel directors throughout the league won’t conclude that Reed suddenly has become Aaron Donald.

Reed was heading to the market either way in 2022. Now, he has a $3.5 million gap (if the extra $2 million is easily earned, those terms would have been leaked) heading into free agency, along with the reality that he went from a team in a state with no income tax to one with a 5.4-percent rate on the highest earners.

Then there’s the notion that the salary cap will explode next year and he’ll make it all back, and more. Beyond the fact that he would have been headed to the open market either way in 2022, an explosion of the cap in 2022 is unlikely. Last year, the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to spread the massive pandemic losses ($4 billion in all) over three years. Even with new TV deals (which don’t fully kick in until 2023, but against which the league and union can borrow in 2022) and full stadiums in 2021, it would be a surprise if the next cap meets or exceeds the $198.2 million figure from 2020.

The real question on this one is whether Reed knew when he turned down the $8.5 million in Seattle that he wouldn’t get that amount on the open market. For any players faced with that type of decision, it’s important for their agents to gauge the market elsewhere before drawing a line in the sand.

If Reed didn’t know, it means that insufficient efforts were made to find out. If he did know, it means that insufficient efforts were made to get him to realize he should have stayed put, made $8.5 million, and become a free agent in 2022.

11 responses to “Jarran Reed swaps $8.5 million for $5 million

  1. If Reed regrets what he did, then it makes no more difference than crying over a spilled beer. No one can turn the clock back and undo what he/she did wrong, even if it is obviously wrong in hindsight. If he wanted a long term deal with Seattle then it is obvious that he did not care about going to the Super Bowl all that much, because the chance of Russell Wilson going to another Super Bowl would be similar to the chance of Andy Dalton leading the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2021. Russell Wilson has a sub-.500 winning record from 2017 to 2020 when Chris Carson is absent. It is like 11 wins and 12 losses in the regular season IIRC. Before that Wilson had Thomas Rawls and Beast Mode. Russell Wilson is not going to remind anybody of Dan Marino or Drew Brees. He is not going to set any passing records, even if he plays until he is 50 years old.

  2. Lots of assumptions here. Reed took less on a low cap year, where money is tight for everyone. From what I’ve seen there aren’t a lot of big money deals and players all have to deal with the lower cap so several are choosing to sign for less, in hopes to get a big payday in a year.

    A team that’s gone to 3 straight championship games sure gets a lot of attention. That helps him… A team full of players that are good, makes everyone better, that helps him… A team with Chris Jones beside him, helps him. And leaving a team that he clearly wasn’t happy with, probably helps him more than any of the other reasons.

  3. He had one decent year, and disappeared. Nobody was offering more than the chiefs.

  4. This is not the year to play hard ball if you’re a player. There simply isn’t the money out there to get paid. That’s why you see more guys taking pay cuts and signing 1 year deals than ever before. Most everybody looking toward next year.

  5. Yes, he gave up a chunk of money. He got out of Seattle though and joined a true powerhouse. It is not all bad.

  6. Most are missing the point. The Seahawks desperately wanted him to agree to restructure his contract so that they could add a “void” year to spread out the Cap Hit and create needed space to add needed free agents. They didn’t want to lose him. He chose not to do that and said if they wanted him to restructure, they needed to extend him beyond his contractual last year. His miscalculation of his leverage cost him. His agent cost him.

  7. We are talking about someone who has already made 20 million + endorsements, playoffs, NFLPA licensing, etc. He is now on a much better line on a much better team. Seattle will struggle to 10-7 and one-and-done. KC will go 14-3 and make a deep run. Reed shines and gets paid.

  8. If you honestly believe that the agent and the player didn’t know exactly what the two offers were, I don’t know what to tell you. Isn’t it just possible that he felt betrayed by Seattle and chose to team up with his pal Frank?

  9. Or…he traded $3.5 mil for a real chance to get a ring versus no chance to get a ring.

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