The Athletic first reported Reed still being in the protocol.
The Redskins’ new regime, led by Coach Ron Rivera, began reshaping the roster last week. The team would save $8.5 million against the salary cap by releasing Reed before June 1; he has two years remaining on a five-year, $46.75 million deal, according to the salary website Over The Cap. He carries a $10.3 million cap number for 2020 if he remains on the team. Reed would need to be removed from the concussion protocol before being released, or else he and the team would need to reach an injury settlement, which is unlikely when dealing with concussions.
Reed, 29, has been the model of unfulfilled potential in Washington as injuries have derailed his career. He has been plagued with foot, toe and hamstring ailments, in addition to a seventh documented concussion. which caused him to miss all of 2019. Reed played a career-high 14 games in 2015 and hasn’t come close to approaching the 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns he compiled that season. He made his lone Pro Bowl in 2016 after playing 12 games and accumulating 66 receptions for 686 yards and six touchdowns.
Tight end was a huge hole for the Redskins last season, when Vernon Davis also dealt with a concussion that limited him to just four games. Davis officially retired this offseason. The team has acknowledged the position needs to be addressed before 2020.
“You don’t have to be a Phi Beta Kappa to know our tight ends aren’t what we expected them to be, if we didn’t have the two guys who we thought were [going to be] prominent,” Doug Williams, the team’s senior vice president of player development, said two weeks ago.
The team visited last week with free agent tight end Greg Olsen, who played for Rivera for nine seasons with Carolina but was released with his own injury issues.
Rivera began reshaping the roster last week by releasing former all-pro cornerback Josh Norman and wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr. Both were high-profile free agent signings who never performed up to their contracts. Norman was the second-highest-paid cornerback in the league last season on his five-year, $75 million deal, but he was benched down the stretch and the team saved $12.5 million against the cap by releasing him. Richardson had three years remaining on a $40 million deal signed before the 2018 season, but he never found a role in the offense.
Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan could also be a cap casualty before free agency begins March 18. There was speculation that Reed would be released before the 2019 season, but he returned to workouts healthy and dynamic before suffering the concussion.
Les Carpenter contributed to this report.