Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson has shown from the beginning of his tenure that he is never afraid to pull the trigger on a trade, whether high profile, like the Vontae Davis deal, or the potential or personnel-focused types, like the deals that brought FB Stanly Havili, LB Kelvin Sheppard, and CB Cassius Vaughn to town.
Today, Grigson and the Colts made another deal, sending fourth string power running back Delone Carter to the Baltimore Ravens for fourth year wide receiver and kick returner David Reed (6-0, 195, 26 yrs. old). Reed only has 5 career receptions for 66 yards, but his real value is as a kick returner and special teams player.
Here is the information on Reed and Carter from the Colts’ press release:
Reed, 6-0, 195 pounds, has appeared in 29 career games with Baltimore, totaling 39 kickoff returns for 1,150 yards (29.5 avg.), including a 103-yard touchdown return. He has also contributed with 19 special teams tackles. As a rookie in 2010, Reed led the NFL by averaging 29.3 yards per kickoff return, recording 616 yards on 21 returns. He also posted a then-Ravens-record 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half at Houston on December 13, 2010. Following that performance, he was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Carter was originally selected by the Colts in the fourth round (119th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. For his career, he has played in 26 games (three starts) and has registered 499 rushing yards and five touchdowns to go along with six receptions for 31 yards.
Reed didn’t run a blazing fast 40-yard dash at the 2010 Scouting Combine (4.56 seconds), but a 29.5-yard kickoff return average certainly speaks for itself. Click here for a video of Reed’s 103-yard kickoff return against the Texans. He can break tackles better than the typical “small” kickoff returner, at least in the video, and he seems to know when to follow his blocks and when to turn on the jets in the open field (Of course, I’m basing this on one YouTube video).
After two solid years returning kicks, Reed lost his spot as the Ravens’ top returner to former Texan Jacoby Jones, who returned 38 kicks last season for a career best (by a wide margin) 1167 yards and two touchdowns.
This, like the Jerry Hughes-Kelvin Sheppard exchange, eventually could prove to be a good move for both players, each of whom had become expendable on their former team. Carter gets a chance for a fresh start, and Reed joins a team perpetually in need of a good kickoff returner.
Player information courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts.
For those who still want to know a little more about Reed, here is a link to his NFL.com Scouting Combine profile from 2010. Keep in mind those profiles aren’t necessarily accurate representations. Kavell Connor’s said he wasn’t instinctive against the run.