Green Bay Packers GM Brian Gutekunst made a very, very good move on Tuesday by signing free-agent DT Jarran Reed.
With the loss of Davante Adams and the uncertainty of the receiving corps, Green Bay is making a point to load up on defense before they address the offense.
Although they lost Adams, that did allow them to re-sign All-Pro LB De’Vondre Campbell, standout CB Rasul Douglas, veteran EDGE Preston Smith and now, they get Kenny Clark some help by bringing in a veteran run-stopper and pass-rusher in Jarran Reed.
Let’s look more closely at what Reed is bringing to Joe Barry’s defense up front.
Reed is a QB’s nightmare. In his last 59 games played, he has 58 QB hits. He set a career-high in sacks in 2018 with Seattle when he had 10.5. If he can contribute half of that to the Green Bay front, look out.
Reed is extremely durable. He has only missed two games due to injury in his career. He has played 1,561 snaps in the last two seasons combined. In his six career seasons (same as Dean Lowry), he has more sacks, tackles for loss, and QB hits than Lowry, who is the other starting DT for Green Bay.
Standing at 6-foot-3, 313 lbs, Reed is a grown man up front. He and Kenny Clark will form a mean duo as well completing the rotation of Clark, Lowry, and second-year DT T.J. Slaton.
The Packers had two choices. Re-sign Davante Adams to the biggest deal in NFL history for a non-QB but have no cap space and lose a lot of key players. Or, trade him, receive an extra first- and second-round pick, get $20 million in cap space, re-sign Campbell, Douglas, Preston Smith, and also sign a strong DT in Reed.
As hard as it is to part with a franchise legend, Green Bay made the right call. On defense, the missing piece for Green Bay is just one veteran: OLB Whitney Mercilus. Get the 11-year veteran back in the building as the third pass rusher. That would be a great situation for the Packers.
But now, Green Bay needs to consider signing a veteran WR and possibly trading a pick or two for another. Tyler Lockett and Brandin Cooks are two intriguing trade candidates.
Or the Packers can go sign free agents like Jarvis Landry, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., Marquez Valdes-Scantling, or Will Fuller with their available cap space. Veterans will understand how to pick up a new offense or join a new team much quicker and easier than a rookie. Especially in a place like Green Bay with a team that needs win-now players.