Despite having one of the worst salary cap situations in the NFL entering free agency, the Seahawks have made 11 transactions in nine days. While several of their most recent signings have included voidable years in order to push bigger cap hits to later years, a corresponding move or two to help them remain under the legal cap limit has been expected to be on the way for some time now.
Unfortunately for them, one of the likeliest - and easiest - paths for them to take to create space has always been to cut or trade one of their higher-paid players. It appears they've now come face-to-face with that reality as defensive tackle Jarran Reed, a second-round selection of theirs in 2016, is apparently on his way out of the Pacific Northwest.
Whether he's being cut or traded is still unknown as of now, though it would seem to be the former going off of Reed's latest tweet, in which he bids farewell to the Seahawks' fanbase. In the tweet, Reed notes that, "...tomorrow at [1:00 p.m.], it's official," likely alluding to when his potential release could be finalized by the league.
Reports, however, have suggested the Seahawks are still trying to find a trade partner before tomorrow.
Per OverTheCap.com, parting ways with Reed will net the Seahawks nearly $9 million in cap savings with a $5 million dead cap hit whether they trade or release him. Currently, the outlet has them at $6 million over the cap limit following the additions of tight end Gerald Everett and defensive ends Kerry Hyder Jr. and Benson Mayowa. It does not, however, account for their most recent re-signings of offensive linemen Cedric Ogbuehi and Jordan Simmons.
According to Pro Football Focus, Reed posted 9.0 sacks on 38 total pressures with 32 combined tackles in 2020. They awarded him with a 64.7 run defense grade and 58.1 pass-rush grade.
Reed was on the final year of a two-year, $23 million contract. Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Reed was hoping to negotiate a long-term extension with the Seahawks before talks fell through.
With Poona Ford re-signed to a two-year deal last week, as well as the addition of the big end Hyder, it became more apparent Reed could be on his way out. Looking around the Seahawks' roster, there simply weren't many other options to create a significant amount of cap space.
As Reed exits, Seattle now boasts Ford, Bryan Mone, and Cedrick Lattimore at the defensive tackle position. With the arrival of Hyder, this could mean more opportunities in the interior defensive line for third-year man L.J. Collier, but they'll likely scour the depths of free agency for more competition at the spot as well.