One year ago the Seahawks signed defensive tackle to a two year, $23 million contract and now a year later the Seahawks look to be moving on.
It’s been real 12s??? tomorrow at 1 it’s official … on to the next chapter— jarran reed (@jarranreed) March 25, 2021
The fact that Seattle signed Reed last season was actually a bit of a surprise. They failed to come to terms on an extension the prior year and more often than not the players do not come back to the team. The contract itself wound up a disaster for Seattle due to the structure of the deal.
Seattle clearly treated this contract as a two year contract not a one year and lets see kind of deal. Of the $23 million they committed, $14.5 million was paid out in the first year of the contract, a number that was close to what you would pay a franchise player. Seattle was supposed to get the second year at a low cost- $8.5 million- to justify the up front investment.
Seattle, however, flipped the cap charges in the opposite direction. They paid Reed $9.35 million on the cap last year and would watch his cap number after escalators jump up to nearly $14 million. With their salary cap a bit of a struggle right now it was going to be hard to keep him at this number to finalize their offseason signings and to sign their draft picks this year, unless they want to open up more cap room through older player restructures, which may have to happen anyway. Reed will still count for $5 million on the Seahawks cap this year.
This is a situation that Seattle likely should have been in front of last week before free agency began. Once they realized that they were trading for Gabe Jackson that should have been enough to realize that they needed more space this year than initially planned. They wound up using void years in pretty much all their free agent signings which they may have had to do with or without a Reed release but at least that would have given them more options when picking and choosing the structures of the contracts.
The Seahawks did go to Reed to lower his cap number according to Ian Rapoport which led to a breakdown between the two sides. because Reed only had one year left on his deal any reduction in cap room would have required the sides to negotiate a new contract that included void years. This was something that probably had a better chance of happening prior to free agency than after the initial wave of free agency. When a player watches you sign/trade for players and know that you may need room to sign others to extensions it may not sit well with someone who has zero long term commitment from the team. Seattle has plenty of cap room in 2022 which is likely another reason why he would have looked for an extension versus a conversion.
In the past players usually got something out of contract restructures for “the good of the team” which is why teams use the auto conversion clauses in their contracts. Like I said that type of clause would not apply here since it is his final year but it illustrates why these things happen. If they did threaten him with a release if he didnt accept the offer that is going to be looked at as a dirty move to pull that after a week of free agency is over and teams have made their signings.
Seattle will look to trade him in the next day or two. I am not entirely sure where they are with all their signings but they may need him to be off the roster to process a few moves. We estimated them to be about $6 million over the cap but that includes some signings not yet made official and also a Poona Ford extension that should lower the cap charge we have listed. I think (and I may be off on this) they have yet to make official Chris Carson, Benson Mayowa, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jordan Simmons, and Alex Collins.
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.