The New York Jets addressed a major defensive need in high school, and agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract with Cornerback DJ Red And agree to a deal bye Jordan Whiteheadsources told ESPN’s Rich Semeny.
Reed, the Jets’ first free agent to sign on to Defense, plans as an outsider’s apprentice. Press Hall And the Branden Echolslast year’s starters, will compete for the other outdoor spot. Michael Carter II Still in the slot – for now. That doesn’t stop the Jets from crafting a corner kick, but Reed does give them a proven start in one of their smallest placement groups.
Gates coach Robert Saleh said he was pleased with the youth corner’s progress last season, but it has become clear they have to make upgrades. The Jets finished 32nd in overall defense, including 30th against the pass. Only seven interceptions were made, including only two corners – both by Echols.
The Jets haven’t had much luck with free-agent corners in recent years. In 2018, they signed with Trumin Johnson to one of the largest contracts in franchise history (guaranteed $34 million), but he played only 17 games in two seasons and was released.
The Seattle Seahawks withdrew Reed’s 49-player exemptions just before the 2020 season after he suffered what was believed to be a chest injury at the end of the season. Since returning in the middle of that season, Reed has played 22 games after playing his way into the starting line-up.
He’s been by far the best cornerback in Seattle since then, and has become a key part of the Seahawks’ defensive transformation at this stretch.
Reed, 25, has had 17 assists defended and all four interceptions in his career with Seattle, playing on both sides of the field and at the Nickelback. He started the 2021 season at left-back and then returned to the right side.
Reed’s 5-foot-9, 193-pound debut marked a departure from the norm in Seattle, who had been playing the tallest linebacker outside almost exclusively.
Whitehead missed just six games in four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, making him the team’s strongest defense during that time — an invaluable trait given their minor struggles with injuries.
Whitehead, who will complete 25 on March 18, has established himself early on as a “hitter” with a passion for big hits despite his smaller chassis, which has continued to amass more and more muscle each season. But he also showed that he can cover as well and provided a much-needed spark when the Bucs lost at full-back. Lafonta David To sprain the foot last season for four weeks during the regular season.
Last season, he made two interceptions, a forced stumble and eight breakup passes and played 73 tackles, including five for a loss.
He also showed toughness as well. After suffering a partial tear in an NFC Championship game two seasons ago, Whitehead returned two weeks later to start at Super Bowl LV before undergoing surgery.
Fourth-round draft pick from Pittsburgh in 2018, Whitehead started 55 of 59 regular season games.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson and Gina Lynn contributed to this report.