Less than 24 hours after tweeting goodbye to fans, the Seahawks have officially parted ways with long-time starting defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Seattle's efforts attempting to find a trade partner for Reed were not been fruitful. Without a suitor emerging willing to give up draft compensation in exchange for his services, the organization released him outright, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Reed, 28, enjoyed a strong bounce-back season for the Seahawks in 2020, registering 38 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 14 quarterback hits while starting all 16 regular season games. Aided by the arrival of defensive end Carlos Dunlap in a midseason trade, his stellar play continued into the playoffs, as he sacked quarterback Jared Goff twice in a 30-20 loss to the Rams in the wild card round.
Unfortunately, Seattle couldn't afford to retain both Dunlap and Reed this offseason. Though they released Dunlap earlier this month to create $14 million in cap space, the team preferred re-signing him at a more team-friendly rate over the long-term extension Reed sought. Unwilling to add more than an additional year to his contract to lower his 2021 cap hit, talks between the two sides reached an impasse, leading to his inevitable departure.
By releasing Reed, the Seahawks will open up nearly $9 million in instant cap relief, with much of that money going towards recent signings of Dunlap, Kerry Hyder, Benson Mayowa as well as seasoned defensive tackle Al Woods. The team will be on the hook for a $5 million dead cap hit.
Drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Reed started 63 out of 72 games played over five seasons with the franchise, producing 194 tackles, 22.0 sacks, 58 quarterback hits, and 22 tackles for loss. His finest season came in 2018 working alongside defensive end Frank Clark, as he emerged as a viable interior pass rusher with a career-high 10.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits for the playoff-bound Seahawks.
With Reed departing, recently-extended standout Poona Ford will likely start alongside third-year nose tackle Bryan Mone, while Woods was brought back as an insurance option. Seattle may also lean on former first-round pick L.J. Collier and Rasheem Green to play more snaps reduced inside, while second-year defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore flashed promise in his NFL debut in January and could be in the mix for reserve snaps as well.