The New York Jets made a significant upgrade to their defensive secondary on Tuesday, as the team agreed to sign free agent cornerback D. J. Reed, according to multiple reports.
Reed, who played last season with the Seattle Seahawks, is planning to sign a three-year deal worth $33 million, along with incentives that could add to his contract total, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. The deal cannot be made official until Wednesday afternoon, when teams are allowed to formally sign players to contracts.
The 25-year-old entered the league from Kansas State University as a fifth round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2018, and was waived following his second season, before being picked up by Seattle in August of 2020.
He quickly became a significant force for the Seahawks, and locked down a starting role for the team, helping to face off against opposing wide receivers. Reed secured two interceptions in 14 games last year, and recorded 78 tackles.
The Jets, meanwhile, recorded a measly 4 wins and 13 losses last year, which sent them to last place in the AFC East.
The team allowed 504 points, and gave up 6,760 yards in the 2021-22 season — placing them as the worst ranked defense in both categories, according to Pro Football Reference. Their passing defense, though, was slightly better, as they allowed 259.4 yards in the air per game, which was 30th worst in the NFL, beating out only the Seahawks and the Baltimore Ravens.
Now, Reed will step in and aid the ailing defense under second-year head coach Robert Saleh and sophomore defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich.
The franchise will likely also find help in the upcoming NFL Draft on April 28, as the team possesses the 4th overall pick, along with the 10th selection that they acquired in a trade that sent safety Jamal Adams to Seattle in the 2020 offseason.