Huard: Seahawks' Jarran Reed release means new role for L.J. Collier


Huard: Seahawks' Jarran Reed release means new role for L.J. Collier

L.J. Collier had three sacks in 16 games for the Seahawks in 2020. (Getty)

Jarran Reed is no longer a member of the Seahawks’ defensive line, as he quickly found a new home with Kansas City just days after he was released by Seattle last week.

Clayton: Seahawks’ pass rush should be excellent despite losing Reed

The loss of Reed will have an impact on Seattle’s defense, there’s no doubt, but NFL on FOX color commentator Brock Huard can see why the Seahawks decided it would be better to move on from him this offseason. Perhaps the biggest reason is that in addition to bringing back run-stuffing defensive tackle Al Woods, Seattle may have plans to move another player into Reed’s defensive tackle role at a considerably cheaper price.

“This probably signifies moving L.J. Collier inside a little bit more,” Huard said.

Collier is a defensive end who the Seahawks selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Injuries kept him from being much of a factor in his rookie season, but he was a solid contributor in 2020, making three sacks, seven quarterback hits, two passes defensed and 20 combined tackles while staying healthy for all 16 regular season games plus Seattle’s one playoff contest.

At 6 foot 2 and 290 pounds, the 25-year-old Collier isn’t that much smaller than the 6-3, 305-pound Reed. He also carries a salary cap hit of just under $3 million for 2021, per Spotrac, well below the $13.5 million cap hit Reed was set to carry before the Seahawks released him on Friday.

Huard said Collier’s size and skillset makes him a candidate to switch to defensive tackle.

“L.J. Collier, to me, was never going to be a dynamic edge rusher,” he said. “I think this probably does spell a little bit of L.J. moving inside, a guy that can carry I think similar weight to Jarran – 295, 300 pounds – and be a little bit more active. Maybe this would give him more opportunity to showcase some of his short-area quickness with his size, and maybe it’s actually a little better fit.”

The Seahawks’ recent addition of Kerry Hyder Jr., who fits the bill as a versatile defensive end with enough size to move inside on the line regularly, should fit well with a Collier change to defensive tackle.

“I don’t think it’s going to be like (former Seahawks defensive tackle) Red Bryant going from the 3-technique to the 5-technique and revolutionize L.J.’s career, but I do think physically with where he’s at and adding in a Kerry Hyder, it’s probably a pretty good mix,” Huard said.

Having the ability to move Collier inside full-time likely made the decision easier for Seattle to let Reed loose and use the money saved on other positions.

“They wanted to add a Hyder, they wanted to add a (Carlos) Dunlap, they may want to add another corner or a receiver. They’ve still got, I think, a few things on their wish list, especially with only three draft picks, so those millions of dollars become pretty critical,” Huard said. “For me, if you were to ask if Jarran Reed is worthy of an $11 millon salary, that two-year, $23 million contract, I think there’s better ways to spend it. And I think that was the judgment that John Schneider and Pete Carroll and the crew made down there at the VMAC.”

You can hear the full discussion in the Blue 42 segment of Monday’s edition of Danny and Gallant in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brent Stecker on Twitter.

Gallant: What Seahawks should do next after shoring up D-line