As they work toward a long-term contract with quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Washington Redskins have signed another of their key offensive players to a new deal.
On Thursday the team announced a five-year contract extension with tight end Jordan Reed, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal is worth $50 million ($22 million guaranteed). Pro Football Talk has reported the deal to be worth just under $50 million in total, but as with any NFL contract the only thing that matters is the guaranteed money.
Reed had the best season of his career in 2015, with team-highs across the board (87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns) in 14 games. Reed also finished strong in Washington’s playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, with nine receptions (on 17 targets) for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Reed stayed relatively healthy after missing 12 games over his first two seasons, and the Redskins clearly view him as one of the top tight ends in the league.
NEWS: Reed’s new 5 year extension is second largest deal for a tight end in NFL history. Second only to Jimmy Graham. @NFLonFOX
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) May 5, 2016
With wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson both headed into the final year of their contracts, Washington is moving toward the future by using their 2016 first-round pick on Josh Doctson and locking up Reed for five more years beyond next season.
Reed has a significant injury history dating back to his college career, including three documented concussions, so the Redskins are taking some obvious risk by assuming he will be healthy and highly productive. But Reed’s effect on Cousins’ production last year was dramatic, and a significant investment in the quarterback has to be coupled with a similar deal for his top target. I’m willing to bet the $22 million in guaranteed money is front-loaded into the first few years of the contract, which minimizes the risk for Washington if Reed does not live up to it.