NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that three teams are interested in former Pro Bowl TE Jordan Reed, but did not confirm whether or not the Patriots were among them.
The Patriots have been linked to Browns TE David Njoku in trade rumors over the last few weeks, but could opt to sign Reed instead of giving up assets for Njoku. There is a lot of uncertainty for New England at the tight end position with two rookies, Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo filling out the depth chart. Cam Newton’s best seasons in Carolina came while playing alongside Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen and he would certainly benefit from having a player of similar talent in New England.
Reed was a Pro Bowler in 2016 and probably should’ve been one in 2015 as well after posting career-highs in receptions (87), yards (952) and touchdowns (11). Since then, Reed has battled injuries including one to his hamstring that caused him to miss most of the 2017 season.
The biggest concern with Reed’s health is his concussion history. He’s suffered seven reported concussions over the course of his NFL career, the most recent of which kept him out for the entire 2019 season. It was reported that Reed was still in the league’s concussion protocol six months after his initial diagnosis and he was released by Washington shortly thereafter.
Reed’s long-term health in light of his many concussions is a frightening thought, but it has not quelled his desire to play football. When he’s on the field, Reed has proven to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL and he’d certainly be worth a flier for any NFL team purely from a talent perspective. Whether those coaches and GMs can stomach putting a player like Reed at risk of suffering his eighth concussion is another question and may explain why a player of his talent was released in the first place and why he remains unsigned in mid-July.