Bleacher Report laid its case for the Cowboys to bring aboard Jordan Reed.
How healthy is Jordan Reed? That’s the most pressing question for any team still looking to add a veteran tight end before camp.
Reed was a Pro Bowler back in 2016, but he has also suffered numerous concussions throughout his seven-year NFL career. He missed the entire 2019 season after suffering one during the preseason last August.
Reed cleared the concussion protocol in February, according to Ben Standig of The Athletic. He has at least three teams interested in him, and he plans to play in 2020, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
One of those teams might be the Dallas Cowboys, who need a replacement for free-agent departure Jason Witten to round out their receiving corps. The Carolina Panthers would also make sense, as veteran tight end Greg Olsen also departed in free agency.
If healthy, Reed would be a sensible replacement for Olsen or Witten. In 2018, he appeared in 13 games and caught 54 passes for 558 yards and two touchdowns.
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Background on Reed
An immensely talented yet perpetually injured pass-catcher, Reed has recorded 329 catches for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns over seven seasons, all in Washington. The 2013 third-round draft pick, however, has never logged a full 16-game campaign as a pro, appearing in 65 of a possible 112 contests. Hence the notoriety.
Although Reed earned his only Pro Bowl nod in 2016, his best statistical year came in 2015, when he made 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 scores — career highs across the board. Medical issues (hamstring, toe, concussion) then began hampering the Florida product, who turned 30 earlier this month.
The last time Reed faced the Cowboys, on Nov. 22, 2018, he led Washington with 75 yards on six grabs in a 31-21 loss. It was during this game that Reed suffered a vicious helmet-to-helmet shot from Dallas safety Xavier Woods. The unflagged hit is Exhibit A in his unfortunate history of brain injuries, dating back to college.
Jordan Reed has every right to be furious, clear hit to the helmet and it goes uncalled. Has to be frustrating, especially for a guy with a history of concussions. pic.twitter.com/v6EBmS2qNW
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) November 23, 2018
After sitting out the 2019 season, and having expressed a desire to continue playing, Reed drew free-agent interest from the Rams and Seahawks earlier this offseason, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on July 13 that a third suitor has emerged for his services.
Unlikely Fit in Dallas
As was the case when Delanie Walker was linked to the Lone Star State, it’s worth reminding that the Cowboys already have their Jason Witten replacement; his name is Blake Jarwin, whom the team re-signed to a four-year, $24.2 million extension in March.
Dallas also brought aboard former Chiefs TE Blake Bell, a predominant blocker, to go along with 2018 fourth-round pick Dalton Schultz. This is a sum-of-their-parts unit under new TEs coach Lunda Wells, who’s known for maximizing his players’ production.
Besides, Jarwin and Co. could be relegated to secondary reads for quarterback Dak Prescott in an offense highlighted by Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL