Jarran Reed will miss the first six games of the 2019 regular season, as the Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle has been suspended by the NFL for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
The suspension is related to a 2017 domestic violence incident, one for which Reed was never arrested or charged with any crime.
Reed Disagrees With – But Accepts – Suspension
According to a police report cited by The Seattle Times, Reed allegedly grabbed a woman he was dating by the throat and dragged her down a flight of stairs during an April 2017 gathering that also involved some of Reed’s teammates.
Under the NFL’s personal conduct rules, players can be punished if the NFL deems it appropriate regardless of how the case plays out in the justice system.
“While I totally disagree with the decision of the NFL, I still must accept it and take responsibility for the situation,” Reed wrote in a statement he shared to Twitter. “I have learned from this and will do everything I can to make my friends, family, teammates, fans and the Seahawks proud of me moving forward.”
While Reed will miss the first six weeks of the regular season, he will be allowed to practice with the team and play during the preseason. He will be able to officially rejoin the team on Monday, Oct. 14.
Reed has played three seasons for Seattle. After two quiet years with the Seahawks, he broke out in 2018, tallying 10.5 sacks to become a critical part of the Seattle pass rush. The team chose TCU defensive tackle L.J. Collier with its first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft in April, perhaps in part to add depth at the position with the potential suspension looming over Reed.
NFL Battles Perception of Arbitrary Discipline
The suspension of Reed has once again brought attention to the murky way in which the NFL investigates incidents of domestic violence, particularly when it comes to players who have not been convicted of a crime.
Reed’s situation is somewhat analogous to those of Tyreek Hill and Ezekiel Elliott. While Elliott also received a six game suspension after an NFL investigation, the league recently announced that Hill will not face a penalty for allegations of child abuse or the threatening comments he made to the mother of his three children.
Even some NFL employees have pointed out that the league needs to do a better job of explaining how it comes to its decisions in these cases.
“I know domestic violence cases are difficult and sensitive,” NFL.com’s Judy Battista wrote on Twitter. “But the wildly different outcomes of NFL investigations without much public explanation give the impression to players and fans the discipline is random and arbitrary. True or not, it’s a bad look and the NFL has to fix it.”
The Seahawks weren’t considered a major Super Bowl contender, and the loss of Reed for their first six games will only make it more difficult for the team to make a run. FanDuel Sportsbook currently lists Seattle as a 30/1 longshot to win a championship in the coming season.