The Green Bay Packers have finally landed some veteran help to pair with two-time Pro Bowler Kenny Clark on their defensive line next season.
According to Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Packers are signing former Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs starter Jarred Reed to a one-year contract for the 2022 season. Reed has registered 24.5 sacks and 169 pressures over his first six seasons in the NFL and started in 80 of his 89 career games, including every game in each of the past two years.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network was the first to report the signing and added that Reed had visited with the Packers on Tuesday prior to agreeing to terms.
Reed has primarily played as one of two defensive tackles in 4-3 defensive systems and could serve as a veteran backup for Clark if needed, but it is more likely the Packers will slide him out to one of their defensive end spots as a replacement for Tyler Lancaster. As long as the 29-year-old can continue his strong track record of availability, he should provide an upgrade and another layer of depth to Green Bay’s defensive trenches.
Reed is the second outside player to sign with the Packers since the start of the new league year on March 16, following former Chicago Bears punter Pat O’Donnell. The Packers have also re-signed several of their own free agents — De’Vondre Campbell, Rasul Douglas and Robert Tonyan — along with trading All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams and extending both Preston Smith and Aaron Rodgers.
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Reed Was Seahawks Cap Casualty in 2020
Reed might still be a member of the Seahawks if he had been more willing to work with the front office and general manager John Schneider back during the 2021 offseason. At the time, Reed was coming off his fifth season with the team and was one year into a two-year, $23 million contract he had signed in March 2020 — a deal built on the back of his breakout year in 2018 that saw him notch 10.5 sacks, 50 pressures and 50 tackles.
Unfortunately, the Seahawks were in desperate need of more cap space and needed to figure out a way to reconcile Reed’s cap hit of nearly $14 million. One option — an option the Seahawks explored — was restructuring his contract in a way that allowed them to free up some space before the new league year started in 2020, but Reed wanted a long-term deal and was unwilling to consider it, forcing the Seahawks to release him instead.
Afterward, Schneider seemed frustrated about how the situation with Reed unfolded when talking about it with reporters, saying they “wish that Jarran would have worked with us a little bit, but it wasn’t in the cards. He made a decision.”
Things ended up working out fine for both parties in the end. The Seahawks had signed Al Woods to a one-year deal before cutting loose Reed and still ended up having a stout group in the middle despite other flaws on their defense. Meanwhile, Reed signed a one-year contract with the Chiefs that gave him $5 million guaranteed and was an every-game starter for them on their run to the AFC Championship Game; though, his quality of play went up and down throughout the season.
Reed finished the 2021 season with 2.5 sacks, 28 pressures and 28 total tackles, but he also had five missed tackles and struggled against the run, especially early in the year.