2022 Seahawks Free Agent Intro: DJ Reed
After posting a disappointing 7-10 record to finish in last place in the NFC West during the 2021 season, the Seahawks made an earlier-than-expected transition into what will be a critical offseason for the future of the NFC West. franchise.
When the league’s new year opens on March 16, Seattle will have 15 players on the market as unrestricted free agents. Three players will be restricted free agents and 11 will be exclusive free agents, while several other key veterans such as wide receiver DK Metcalf will enter the final season of their respective deals ready to negotiate extensions.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll break down each of the Seahawks’ unrestricted free agents as they revisit their 2021 seasons, assess why they should or shouldn’t be re-signed, terminate an ideal contract, and make an early prediction. on whether or not the player will return in 2022.
Next in the series, after having a solid second season in Seattle, will the team invest in DJ Reed as a long-term starter at cornerback?
Despite missing the majority of training camp and pre-season with a groin injury, Reed followed up a strong finish to the 2020 season by getting the go-ahead to start at halfback. left corner for Seattle’s season opener. After struggling in the first three games, the team brought him back to right cornerback position in place of Tre Flowers, who was benched and eventually released. Starting 14 total games in high school, he set new career highs with 78 tackles and 10 passes defended while catching a pair of passes, giving just a 66.0 passer rating in coverage.
Why Seattle should re-sign him
Continuing to reward general manager John Schneider for claiming him off waivers two years ago and proving that small corners can indeed thrive on the outside in Pete Carroll’s defense, Reed played like a defender for the stoppage after returning to the right side in week 4. Last 15 weeks of the season, according to Pro Football Focus, he ranked second among qualified corners in completion percentage against (47.5), 14th in passer rating (67.3), second in yards allowed after catch (61) and produced no touchdowns to two interceptions and five pass breakups. Remaining a willing and capable running defenseman, he also finished eighth among cornerbacks in solo tackles (43) during that span. At just 25, his best football should still be ahead of him and he offers the versatility to play in the niche if needed.
Why Seattle should let him walk
On the field, there was little reason not to appreciate what Reed did for the Seahawks. But his struggles at left cornerback could potentially impact negotiations and he’s had his share of problems leaving tackles on the pitch, missing 15 combined tackles since 2020. The fact that he’s missed eight games due to injury in the last two seasons may also lead to some hesitation from Schneider and the front office when it comes to offering him a multi-year deal with big money guaranteed.
Three years, $23.5 million
Based on his performance on the field, his youth and his positional versatility, Reed can attract the attention of many teams in free agency. This could create a bidding war for his services, which would not be an ideal situation for the Seahawks. While Schneider and Carroll would both like it back, if its price hits $10 million or more a year, they’ll likely have to repeat what they did that time a year ago, allowing Shaquill Griffin to walk in due to limited financial flexibility. That said, the player wants to return and Seattle really needs to find a long-term solution at the cornerback, so expect Schneider to be ready to offer a quality multi-year deal in the $7-9m range per year to avoid losing. him.