Jordan Reed not that long ago was considered one of the top receiving tight ends in the NFL, but concussions have sidelined his career. Here are Reed’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as well as the Packers’ over/under win total. Reed is currently without a team but Green Bay reportedly is looking into signing him.
Reed was a third-round pick by Washington in the 2013 draft out of Florida. In a bit of foreshadowing in his rookie season, Reed suffered a concussion in a game vs. the Eagles, missed the next four with headaches and then was placed on injured reserve.
Reed’s best season came in 2015 when he caught 87 passes for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Reed was at his best during the final four games, when he hauled in 29 of 31 targets for 378 yards and found the end zone five times. His dominance coincided with the Redskins playing terrific football as four straight victories earned them the NFC East title and their first playoff appearance since 2012.
After that season, the Redskins signed Reed to a five-year extension worth up to $46.75 million. Reed proved to be a mismatch for linebackers or safeties in particular, especially when aligned in the slot. The Redskins loved his ability to quickly win vs. a defender, making him an ideal target.
The next year in 12 games, he caught 66 balls for 686 yards and six scores and was named to his lone Pro Bowl. However, Reed missed 10 games in 2017 due to a hamstring injury and finished the season with 27 receptions, 211 yards, and two touchdowns over six games.
The following year, Reed had 54 catches for 558 yards and two touchdowns but suffered a toe injury in Week 14 that ended his year. That would prove to be his last season with the Redskins.
In the 2019 preseason vs. Atlanta, Reed suffered a concussion, the seventh in his career including college, after a hit delivered by Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal. It was arguably a dirty hit. The play resulted in a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Reed was place in the league’s concussion protocol.
Reed nearly returned in Week 2 of the regular, after getting cleared by the team. But after symptoms returned, an independent neurologist did not clear him. Reed did not practice after Sept. 12 and was put on injured reserve on Oct. 14. He wouldn’t play at all in 2019.
As recently as February, Reed was still in the concussion protocol and he was released by the team once he was cleared from the protocol. With Reed’s release, Washington save $8.5 million against the salary cap in 2020, with $1.8 million in dead money. Reed had two years left on his contract.
Reed made 329 receptions for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns during his time in Washington. Only Jerry Smith (1965-77) and Chris Cooley (2004-12) finished their careers with more.
No team has signed Reed as of yet, although he fully intends on playing. He visited the Seattle Seahawks in March but nothing came of it. Seattle seems set at tight end having signed Greg Olsen and with Jacob Hollister and Will Dissly under contract.
Green Bay could make a lot of sense for Reed. The team released tight end Jimmy Graham this offseason. Jace Sternberger is the projected starter, with Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan also in the mix. Green Bay also selected Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. None of those guys were ever as good as Reed in his prime, and the Packers didn’t take a single receiver in this year’s draft. If the Packers got a healthy version of Reed, there’s a chance he’s elite.
The New York Jets and Carolina Panthers also could be options. The Jets could use depth at the position. Chris Herndon comes into camp as the starter but is coming off a rib injury. Ryan Griffin is coming off an ankle injury but was a revelation last year.
Carolina released top tight end Greg Olsen this offseason. The team’s current tight end group includes Ian Thomas & Chris Manhertz, who have combined for just 58 receptions in their careers. The two other tight ends, Temarrick Hemingway and Colin Thompson have both not recorded a single reception thus far.