After a quiet second week of free agency for the Kansas City Chiefs last week, the AFC champions made a splash signing in the closing hours of the weekend.
As first reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Sunday night, the Chiefs are expected to sign former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed, who was released by Seattle last Friday. The one-year deal will be worth up to $7 million for the 2021 season and includes $5 million in guaranteed money, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who also noted that, “Had it been about the money, he would’ve stayed in Seattle.”
However, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the signing was who came out on top. After being spurned by at least three notable free agents on offense last week — Trent Williams, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Josh Reynolds — Kansas City was able to beat out seven other suitors for Reed’s services this time around, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic.
Bob Fescoe of 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City has since reported on Twitter that the number was as high as eight other teams offering a contract to the former Seahawks standout.
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Patrick Mahomes & Chris Jones Are Fans of the Move
Both quarterback Patrick Mahomes and fellow defensive linemate Chris Jones were among the first Chiefs players to share their reactions to the team’s latest big-name signing, with the latter writing “something special” with the eyes emoji on Twitter.
One day prior to the Seahawks cutting Reed, Rapoport detailed the reasoning behind the surprise move.
“The Seahawks are moving on from starting DT Jarran Reed, source said, either in a release or trade,” Rapoport tweeted on March 25. “Reed had wanted a long-term deal, but the team hoped for just a conversion for cap space. Talks broke down, and here we are. … Usually, cap conversions for space are easy. But Jarran Reed wanted a long-term commitment instead. When Seattle wouldn’t give it… the situation went to a bad spot. Now, parting ways.”
The Chiefs and Seahawks are not scheduled to play one another during the 2021 regular season, so the only shot at a revenge game for Reed would be if both clubs advance to Super Bowl LVI next February.
Reed Brings Versatility to Chiefs’ Defensive Line
Reed, 28, has spent his entire five-year NFL career in the Upper Northwest after the Seahawks selected him in the second round (No. 49 overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, just 12 spots after Jones.
A four-year starter, the 6-foot-3, 306-pounder has accumulated 194 combined tackles and 22.0 career sacks in 72 games (63 starts) from the interior, including 10.5 during his breakout 2018 campaign — trailing only former (and new) teammate Frank Clark (13.0) for the team lead that year. His 2019 season was dimmed by a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following an April 2017 domestic assault investigation.
Reed’s nearly $14 million salary cap hit this season was the driving force behind his release from Seattle, who had re-signed the Alabama product to a two-year, $23 million extension just last offseason.
Early in his career, Reid was primarily known as a run-stuffer though his game has since evolved to have more of an all-around impact up the middle. His presence should allow defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to use Jones as more of a situational chess piece, including at the defensive end spot.
Overall, Reed is unlikely to wreak the same level of havoc that his Pro Bowl counterpart has since entering the league. But his general strength and heavy hands will help provide a solid anchor in the run game on early downs, with the ability to step in for or play alongside Jones, Khalen Saunders, Derrick Nnadi and Tershawn Wharton as needed.
Reed’s arrival is also a likely indicator that Mike Pennel, who served as the Chiefs’ nose tackle for much of the past two seasons, won’t be returning to Kansas City. The soon-to-be 30-year-old defender remains an unrestricted free agent as of Sunday evening.
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Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!