D.J. Reed

CB D.J. Reed Open To New Jets Deal; No Extension Talks Taking Place

Haason Reddick is the pending free agent defender who has drawn the most attention for the Jets recently. Another player who fits that description is cornerback D.J. Reed, although he is not in danger of missing training camp or regular season action.

The latter joined New York on a three-year, $33MM deal in 2022. That pact has proven to be a sound investment on the team’s part given the way Reed has worked in tandem with Sauce Gardner over their two seasons together. The former Seahawk is due $11MM in 2024 with a cap hit of $15.64MM.

Working out an extension would likely lower that figure while ensuring the Gardner-Reed tandem remains in place beyond 2024. As Reed said when addressing the media, however, no talks on an extension have taken place to this point (h/t ESPN’s Rich Cimini). He therefore remains on track to play out the coming season as a walk year.

“I signed a three-year deal, so I expect to play three years here and go into free agency,” Reed said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post“I do love New York. I love playing here. I love the coaches, love the organization. [Owner] Woody [Johnson] took care of me last time.”

Reed split his first four NFL seasons evenly between the 49ers and Seahawks, starting 24 games across that span. The 27-year-old had a strong contract year in 2021 (two interceptions, 10 pass deflections) before leaving the NFC West for the first time in his career. He has remained a full-time starter in New York, posting consistent seasons in terms of ball production while adding strong play in coverage.

That has yielded steady PFF evaluations; Reed has ranked between eighth and 23rd amongst qualified corners in the past four years. 2024 should see him continue to deliver solid performances in the Jets’ secondary, a unit which also has Michael Carter II looming as an extension candidate. Especially with Gardner eligible for a monster re-up as early as next offseason, keeping Reed in the fold could be challenging. Much will depend on how New York proceeds at the cornerback spot from a financial perspective over the short-term future.

“The ball is in the Jets’ court,” the Kansas State product added. ““I love being here, but I’m not really stressing about it. I’m here. I’m going to be here in training camp. I signed a three-year deal here, so I expect to play my three years out and go from there.”

Jets Unlikely To Cut WR Allen Lazard, Could Extend CB Michael Carter II

We saw reports a couple weeks ago that the Jets would be open to trading away wide receiver Allen Lazard. One thing that’s become more than clear, though, is that New York won’t likely be cutting him anytime soon, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini.

The former undrafted free agent out of Iowa State signed a big four-year, $44MM contract to follow his quarterback from Green Bay to New York last year. After said quarterback was lost for the year, Lazard went on to put up his worst season since his rookie year. After seeing Lazard step up in 2022 as the Packers’ WR1 following Davante Adams‘ departure, the Jets were hoping Lazard would bring similar success returning to the WR2 role behind Garrett Wilson. While Lazard did just perform as the team’s WR2, he severely underperformed, catching 23 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown while getting outgained by running back Breece Hall and tight end Tyler Conklin.

One may shrug off that lack of production due to Aaron Rodgersseason-ending injury, but that excuse doesn’t lessen the impact of Lazard’s contract. With Lazard holding a $12.18MM cap hit in 2024, the Jets can hardly afford for the 28-year-old to repeat last year’s disappointment. Unfortunately, though, with his entire $10MM salary in 2024 already guaranteed, they can’t afford to release him, either. That’s why the team is okay trading him. At this point, trading him would only cost them $2.18MM in dead money while saving them $10MM in cap space; cutting Lazard would cost them all $12.18MM from the salary and prorated signing bonus, leaving the entire amount on their salary cap.

The team also acquired veteran free agent Mike Williams and drafted Western Kentucky receiver Malachi Corley in the third round of this year’s draft. Both players are currently projected to be above Lazard on the depth chart, making it far more difficult for Lazard to improve on his situation and production. Without the ability to release him, trading away the veteran wideout may be the only way to keep Lazard from eating up $10MM of cap space while spending the season as an off-the-bench role player in 2024.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets are showing a lot of interest in extending nickelback Michael Carter II. With higher-profile players like Sauce Gardner, C.J. Mosley, Quinnen Williams, and Jermaine Johnson getting most of the attention, Carter has quietly emerged as one of the top players at his position. Though Pro Football Focus doesn’t grade nickel cornerbacks separately from outside cornerbacks, Carter still ranked just nine spots behind Gardner as the 12th-best cornerback in the NFL. This was only a slight improvement over his placement at 19th in his sophomore campaign.

Now heading into the final year of his rookie deal, the Jets would prefer to get ahead of what could be yet another bout with unrestricted free agency next offseason. A few complications will stand in the way, though. The outside cornerback opposite Gardner, D.J. Reed, also graded out highly per PFF, slotting in at 19th last year, giving New York three cornerbacks in the top-20 in 2023. Reed is also entering a contract year, and Gardner will be eligible for a new contract the following year and will likely draw record-breaking numbers. The team also recently signed Isaiah Oliver who has been one of the league’s better slot cornerbacks in recent years. Although he is reportedly moving to the safeties room in New York, Oliver could slide back into his original position should the team opt not to pay Carter.

The league’s highest-paid nickelback is currently Taron Johnson on the Bills who is under a three-year, $33MM deal. That contract is identical in length and total value to Reed’s expiring deal, and after his top-20 performance in 2023, Reed may push that price up with a successful 2024 campaign. Throw in fact that Gardner’s future contract could push $23 or $24MM per year, and it’s going to be nearly impossible for the Jets to hold on to all three.

New York has some decisions to make in its cornerbacks room. Extending Carter may well be the cheapest of the three deals, but doing so may mark the end of Reed’s time with the Jets. With Gardner the clear, No. 1 priority, New York may be facing a decision of extending only one of either Carter or Reed.

Restructure Details: Bolts, Bucs, Bills, Jets

Teams continue to be aggressive in creating cap space ahead of Wednesday’s start to the 2023 league year, when franchises must be in compliance with the new $224.8MM salary cap. Here are the latest moves teams made to get there:

  • Reasonable Chargers activity in free agency should be expected. The team that began the week well over the cap has now created more than $40MM in space over the past couple of days. Following the moves to restructure Keenan Allen and Mike Williams‘ contracts, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets the team created $25.99MM by tweaking Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack‘s deals. Mack’s 2023 cap number drops by $10.8MM, while OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald adds Bosa’s drops by $15.2MM. Bosa’s 2024 number ballooned to $36.6MM because of the move. That will, then, necessitate more maneuvering down the line. The Bosa, Mack, Allen and Williams moves have created a total of $40.37MM in space, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets. They are now more than $19MM under the cap.
  • In completing four restructures, the Buccaneers have now created more than $44MM in cap space. They redid the deals of Vita Vea, Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen and Carlton Davis, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The Bucs have moved to being barely $5MM over the cap, after beginning March at nearly $60MM north of the salary ceiling. Cuts of Leonard Fournette, Cameron Brate and Donovan Smith have helped the team along the way as well. That said, Fournette and Brate cannot be released until after the start of the league year, Greg Auman of Fox Sports notes (on Twitter). The Bucs being unable to realize those savings until after 3pm Wednesday will force them to find a few other ways to create that space.
  • The Jets adjusted the deals of Laken Tomlinson, D.J. Reed and Tyler Conklin — all free agency additions from 2022 — to create $15.2MM in cap space, Yates tweets. Still working to land Aaron Rodgers, the Jets are now $11.5MM under the cap.
  • The Raiders are among the leaders in cap space, but Yates tweets they adjusted Maxx Crosby‘s deal to create $7.5MM in additional funds. Las Vegas holds more than $43MM in cap space, sitting third overall ahead of free agency.
  • Bills defensive tackle Tim Settle agreed to a $600K pay cut for 2023, Yates adds (on Twitter). The 2022 free agency addition still has $2.1MM in guaranteed money for 2023, with the Buffalo News’ Ryan O’Halloran adding Settle can earn up to $4.41MM this year via incentives. The Bills are moving closer to the deadline with a lot of work left ahead; they are more than $19MM over the cap.
  • The Vikings and swing backup O-lineman Chris Reed agreed to a renegotiated deal that trims his cap number by around $1MM, per Yates. Minnesota still has work to do ahead of the cap-compliance deadline, sitting more than $7MM over the cap.

Seahawks Make Final Cuts, Hope To Re-Sign CB Justin Coleman

Joining the rest of the NFL, the Seahawks made their round of cuts Tuesday. Here is how the NFC West squad reached the 53-man max:

Released:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Placed on IR:

After agreeing to return to Seattle this offseason, Coleman worked as the team’s starting nickel during the preseason. The veteran slot’s second Seattle stint may not be through, despite being released. Pete Carroll pointed to Coleman being brought back. Roster moves after trims to 53 frequently result in vested vets returning; Coleman certainly appears in the team’s plans.

Justin is a really good football player and hopefully this isn’t where we’re done with him,” Carroll said, via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta.

Coleman, who played for the Seahawks in 2017-18, returned to the Pacific Northwest on a one-year deal with just $153K guaranteed. He has been expected to man the slot alongside starters Sidney Jones and Artie Burns. Jones, however, has run into more injury trouble. The former Washington Huskies standout did not play in the Seahawks’ preseason slate, and Carroll confirmed the team’s top corner is still dealing with the effects of a concussion sustained Aug. 3. The team has not ruled out Jones playing in its opener, but a short-term IR stint may also be on tap.

A former first-round talent who suffered a pre-draft injury that dropped him to Round 2 in 2017, Jones found his footing again after being traded to Seattle in 2021. He started 11 games for the Seahawks, who then lost a starting corner in free agency for the second straight offseason (D.J. Reed, Jets). In addition to Jones, Carroll said cornerback John Reid is dealing with an injury. After aggravating a groin injury in the Seahawks’ preseason finale, the third-year defender may also be a short-term IR candidate

While Coleman was in Detroit and Miami, Blair spent some time at nickel. But the former second-round pick saw knee injuries end his past two seasons. He was unable to gain traction as a safety during camp, with Condotta adding the Seahawks had stopped using him in the slot. The Seahawks kept rookie UDFA Joey Blount as a fifth safety instead. The Seahawks listed Arcega-Whiteside, obtained in a trade for DB Ugo Amadi this month, as a receiver. The Eagles had tried the disappointing draftee at tight end this offseason.

Contract Details: Watson, Adams, Stafford, Jones, Maye, Reed, Joseph-Day, Bozeman

Here are the latest details from contracts recently agreed to across the league, starting with the Browns’ fully guaranteed deal for their new quarterback.

  • Deshaun Watson, QB (Browns): Five years, fully guaranteed $230MM. Everything else about Watson’s Cleveland arrival is complicated; his contract is not. Following the 2022 season, in which the Browns reduced his salary to $1MM due to the likely forthcoming suspension, Watson is set to make $46MM in base salary from 2023-26, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes.
  • Matthew Stafford, QB (Rams): Four years, $160MM. The Rams are keeping Stafford’s base salaries down in the near future; they reside at $1.5MM for both 2022 and ’23, per OverTheCap. The team gave its quarterback a $60MM signing bonus, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. There are no void years on this deal, which includes $49.5MM, $50.5MM and $49.5MM cap numbers from 2024-26.
  • Davante Adams, WR (Raiders): Five years, $140MM. Adams’ deal surpasses DeAndre Hopkins‘ $27MM-per-year pact, but it is essentially a three-year, $67.5MM accord, Florio notes. Only $22.75MM is guaranteed at signing, but by early 2023, $42.9MM in injury guarantees shift to full guarantees. The Raiders have Adams tied to a $3.5MM 2022 base salary, helping for cap purposes, with a $20MM roster bonus representing part of that $42.9MM guarantee in 2023. Adams’ 2023 salary is set to be $6MM. His 2025 and ’26 salaries — $35.6MM apiece — are nonguaranteed.
  • Chandler Jones, OLB (Raiders): Three years, $51MM. The Raiders guaranteed Jones $32MM, with SI.com’s Howard Balzer noting the deal includes an $8.5MM roster bonus (Twitter link). The Raiders, who have Jones tied to base salaries of $4MM in 2022 and $7.5MM in 2023, tacked on two void years for cap purposes.
  • D.J. Reed, CB (Jets): Three years, $33MM. Reed collected $10.5MM guaranteed at signing and will count just $4.6MM against the Jets’ cap this year, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. Reed is set to count $14.2MM against the Jets’ 2023 and ’24 caps.
  • Marcus Maye, S (Saints): Three years, $22.5MM. Originally reported as three years and $28.5MM, Maye’s deal does include $14.5MM guaranteed, per Spotrac (on Twitter). Maye’s 2022 cap hit is just $2.6MM, and the Saints included two void years. Maye’s cap hits for 2023 and ’24 are $8.6MM and $8.7MM, respectively.
  • Sebastian Joseph-Day, DT (Chargers). Three years, $24MM. Joseph-Day will receive $16.5MM guaranteed, which is up from initial reporting here. His 2022 and ’23 base salaries — $2.5MM and $6.5MM — are guaranteed, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.
  • Bradley Bozeman, OL (Panthers): One year, $2.8MM. Bozeman will receive a $1MM signing bonus and a $1MM base salary, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets.

Jets To Sign CB D.J. Reed

After bypassing a dire need at cornerback last year, the Jets are diving in early. They are signing D.J. Reed, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter).

Reed will come over from the Seahawks — on a three-year deal worth $33MM (including $21MM guaranteed, per Jordan Schultz on Twitter) — but has experience with Robert Saleh. The 49ers drafted Reed in the 2018 fifth round. He played two seasons in San Francisco, providing some system intel as he rejoins Saleh in New York.

A torn pectoral muscle sustained in early August 2020 led Reed from the Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest. The 49ers waived Reed with an injury designation, and the Seahawks claimed him. Reed elevated his profile in Seattle, starting 22 games over the past two seasons in a similar defensive system to the one Saleh deployed with the 49ers. The 5-foot-9 corner intercepted four passes during his Seahawks stay and allowed a career-low 67.8 passer rating when targeted last season.

The Seahawks hoped to re-sign Reed, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets, but did not want to go to the $11MM-per-year level to do so. Gang Green also had Darious Williams and Donte Jackson on its radar, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com adds Stephon Gilmore was not (Twitter link).

As of now, Reed stands to step in as the Jets’ No. 1 cornerback. They used Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols as their primary starters last season, one in which Saleh’s defense ranked 32nd in both points and yards allowed.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFC West Rumors: Fitzgerald, Gould, Reed

Speculating about Larry Fitzgerald‘s future has become something of a holiday tradition over the past few seasons. The surefire Hall-of-Famer did say earlier this year that if the Cardinals were to win Super Bowl LV, he would ride off into the sunset, but Arizona’s hopes for its first Lombardi Trophy suffered a major blow in an upset loss to the 49ers last night.

So will Fitz be back in 2021? As Rachel Gossen of ArizonaSports.com writes, head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he believes Fitzgerald could play for another four seasons, but Fitzgerald himself was noncommittal.

“I haven’t really given it much thought to be honest with you,” he said. Though Fitzgerald did add that it will be nice to have fans back in the stands when it’s safe, Kingsbury downplayed the notion that Fitzgerald would return just to receive a proper sendoff from the Cardinals’ faithful.

As we wait to see whether one of the best receivers in NFL history will call it a career, and as the Cards focus on keeping their fading playoff hopes alive, let’s round up a few more notes from the NFC West:

  • The 49ers have a big decision to make on kicker Robbie Gould this week. Per the four-year extension Gould signed in 2019, San Francisco has until January 2 to pick up an option that would guarantee $2.25MM of Gould’s $4.5MM 2021 salary. Gould had hit 90.5% of his field goal attempts heading into last night’s matchup with Arizona, but he missed two FGA’s and a PAT in a 20-12 win that could have been more decisive. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the performance will not impact the team’s decision on Gould’s contract. “You got to look at the body of work, and Robbie has been unbelievable,” Shanahan said (Twitter link via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area).
  • Claimed off waivers from the division-rival 49ers in August, Seahawks CB D.J. Reed has been a great find for Seattle. In eight games (six starts), Reed has lined up both in the slot and outside the numbers and has accumulated 49 tackles, two interceptions, and six passes defensed while yielding a modest 77.9 passer rating as the nearest defender (via NFL Next Gen stats). Though the 5-9 Reed does not fit the mold of the big-bodied specimens that Seattle generally prefers at the outside corner positions, Brady Henderson of ESPN.com thinks his presence could make the club more amenable to moving on from contract-year players Quinton Dunbar and Shaquill Griffin. Reed will be entering the final year of his rookie deal in 2021.
  • As Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic points out, the Rams would be about $26MM over the 2021 salary cap if the cap is decreased to $175MM as many expect. So while the club can certainly restructure the contracts of players like Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to create space, it will also have tough decisions to make on pending free agents. Rodrigue posits that, if DC Brandon Staley gets hired as a head coach, he may try to bring safety John Johnson and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd with him, though Los Angeles will doubtlessly prioritize re-ups with both players. Meanwhile, Rodrigue sees players like WR Josh Reynolds and TE Gerald Everett signing elsewhere this offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/20

Here is the league’s avalanche of Halloween minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans