Eager to start anew in his fifth NFL season,
Kendall Reyes wanted to make a decision about his NFL future as soon as he could.
After a discussion with his wife, Reyes decided after four years with the San Diego Chargers that the Washington Redskins would be his team for the 2016 season.
“I was just like, ‘I want to make a decision before I get on this plane,’” Reyes said on Friday. “And I talked to my wife, we talked it over and then I called the team and I was like, ‘Hey, this is where I want to be,’ and everyone was excited.”
Reyes started off his NFL career strong, recording 10.5 sacks in his first two seasons including 3.5 in one game against the New York Jets his rookie season.
But over the last two seasons, Reyes’ stats have seen a decline, as he’s recorded just three sacks over the last two years despite starting 31 games.
While stats don’t tell the whole story, Reyes is confident that his fit in the Redskins’ scheme will likely lead to greater numbers in 2016.
“I’ve struggled a little bit these past couple years, but I’ve still got the raw, natural talent and ability,” Reyes said. “And I believe working with Coach [Joe] Barry is going to allow me to unlock that [and] go back to what I was doing in my first couple of years. I’m definitely excited for the new change. But I feel like I still have a lot of raw talent that I can unleash over here.”
The 6-foot-4, 300 pounder says his biggest strength is being someone who is easily able to take assignments and excel in different positions and different situations.
Reyes signed to a reported one-year deal, which will serve as a motivating factor for the University of Connecticut product.
“I definitely feel like I’ve got a lot to prove and I just want to thank the Redskins for giving me this opportunity,” Reyes said. “I’m definitely excited for this year and this is just the change that I needed.”
This was the first time Reyes was in a situation in which he could chose an NFL team, as he just completed his four-year rookie deal signed in 2012.
Naturally, there was excitement mixed in with a little stress about being a free agent.
“You have no idea what to expect, but once the big storm calmed down, Washington has always been interested and it just made sense,” Reyes said. “I’m really excited for the new opportunity and be in a new city and I’m excited to just compete and be a part of a team that was on the cusp last year and made a big push and hopefully I can be a part in that to bring this team a little bit further.”