As I’ve mentioned in previous free agent reviews, the Denver Broncos stand to lose at least one or maybe even two starting defensive lineman as both Shelby Harris and Derek Wolfe are unrestricted free agents in 2020. That figures to leave a gaping hole along the front seven that John Elway would be remiss not addressing fully long before the 2020 NFL Draft.
Frankly, I see Harris leaving. He is due a big payday and I don’t think Elway is going to bite on the kind of contract he’ll get elsewhere. Wolfe, on the other hand, has talked about getting a fair offer. That leaves the door a little more open for him, in my opinion. That still leaves a hole there on one side. Could a guy like Jarran Reed fill it?
What kind of contract could he get
The 27 year old defensive tackle played his entire career with the Seattle Seahawks after being drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Looking over his last two seasons, I feel like the market is a bit of an unknown for him. He has voiced his expectations of salary in free agency this season that could put him out of Denver’s price range anyway.
In early January, Samuel Gold of The Athletic noted that Reed’s expected salary offer of $8-10 million and Reed responded in a tweet with, “Yikes that’s disrespectfully low.”
If he is looking for upwards of $12-14 million, I just don’t see any situation where Denver pursues him as a viable replacement for Harris. At that point, you might as well pay Harris $12-14 million. However, if he doesn’t get the offers he is hoping for, perhaps he enters the secondary phase of free agency which could interest Denver.
Why the Broncos should sign him
If he slides into the secondary phase of free agency with no mega contract in hand, then his value would get pushed down into the range that might be interesting for Denver.
Reed recorded 10.5 sacks and 24 quarterback hits, with 12 tackles for a loss and two fumble recoveries in 2018. That’s the kind of year that would net a huge payday, but he was suspended for the first six games in 2019 and never really got things going when he did play.
A short-term prove-it contract could be something worth looking at if teams pass on Reed early on in free agency. An inside pass rush is something Denver desperately needs to get back to an elite style of defense they’ve been looking for and 2018 Reed could be just that.
Why the Broncos shouldn’t sign him
The lack of consistent play and his desire for a big payday could be a turnoff for Elway and the Broncos. I would not be excited about a huge contract for a guy who hasn’t really proven he can have sustained success year in and year out.
Really the why they shouldn’t sign him thing comes down to cost. If they can get him at a reduced cost than re-signing a guy like Harris, then it would be totally worth it. But if Reed is getting that big money, Denver might be better off just growing their own talent from within in 2020.
I’m going to say no to this one. If only because I think Jarran Reed will get the big payday his 2018 season deserves and the risk/reward for Denver is too steep to risk. This is the kind of signing a true playoff contender does to get them over the hump. Denver isn’t quite in that territory just yet.
What do you think Broncos Country?
Should the Broncos target Jarran Reed in FA?
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