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NFL Draft

3 Best Fits For Returning Jordan Reed

  • The Draft Network
  • July 17, 2020
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Jordan Reed hasn’t played a football game in nearly a year. The last time the veteran tight end took the field was in August 2019 to start what would have been his seventh season with the Washington football team. In that preseason matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, Reed suffered a concussion; it was his seventh documented concussion. 

Reed was eventually placed on the injured reserve and was reportedly still in the league’s concussion protocol as late as February 2020. He was released from Washington shortly after. Now, Reed “plans to play” this upcoming season, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, and has at least three teams interested.

It would be a dangerous game to sign Reed; another concussion could end his career and cause more severe problems down the road. Teams would be wise to tread lightly when weighing these risks. While the teams that are interested have yet to be reported, here are three team fits that could work if Reed does return to the gridiron.

Dallas Cowboys

Jason Witten’s days in Dallas are done. The long-standing Cowboys tight end didn’t get an offer to extend his 16-year career with the only team he’s ever known. With Witten set to play in Las Vegas, Dallas has fourth-year, and fairly unestablished option, Blake Jarwin. Jarwin has played a full season each of the last two years but saw limited snaps, even during Witten’s season-long retirement in 2018. When Jarwin is on the field, he’s had no more than 365 yards in a single season. There’s obviously room for growth here, but the Cowboys could benefit from another veteran presence.

Reed has averaged 10.2 yards per season, a steady number for an oft-injured player, and very close to Witten’s average (10.7) despite Witten playing almost double the number of snaps over the last decade-plus. Jarwin signed a four-year, $24.25 contract with Cowboys in March, and they also signed fifth-year journeyman Blake Bell for added depth. Dallas could continue to build its depth with Reed, seeing as how he will be signed at a low cost.

Green Bay Packers

The Jimmy Graham experiment didn’t work out well for the Green Bay Packers, and now they need a new face at tight end. The Packers have Marcedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger, Robert Tonyan, and rookie Josiah Deguara. They need better options.

While Green Bay has a good backfield and talented receivers, being content with the tight end situation and not addressing the position with a player like Reed in what could be quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ last few seasons would be a pretty big omission—similar to not selecting a wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft. Rodgers needs more options. Lewis and Tonyan haven’t performed well enough to be great options as starters and Sternberger remains largely unproven after missing most of his rookie season. 

Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks went on a tight end spree this offseason after signing Greg Olsen and selecting two more via the draft while still having Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister on the roster. It seems as though Seattle wants options and Reed would be another veteran option for when Olsen moves on.

Olsen signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Seahawks and at 35 years old, will be on his way out after this season—or next year, if he wishes to prolong his career on the field. He recently penned a broadcasting deal with FOX Sports when he does decide to retire, which makes me think it will be once this short stint with the Seahawks is up. Reed visited Seattle on March 12, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and while, again, signing a player with Reed’s injury history is dangerous, the Seahawks have added depth if any player were to miss time.

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