Is this how it ends? The best free safety in the game released, hasn’t yet been claimed off waivers and is now a free agent?
Ed Reed, who last season won the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens and led the league in interceptions in 2010 despite only playing 10 games, was signed by the Houston Texans for a three-year contract worth $15 million. Reed already got over $6 million for this year and still the Texans released the eight-time All-Pro player.
Ed Reed is now a free agent and can sign with every team he likes, assuming that someone will take a gamble on the 35-year old veteran. His gig with the Houston Texans was far away from successful.
“Reed's playing time has declined, and Texans interim head coach Wade Phillips was non-committal when asked if Reed still was a starter on the team,” wrote Gregg Rosenthal from NFL media. “He’s not a starter,” said interim coach Wade Phillips at that point.
But there still should be hope that Reed’s decline is not at all his fault – the once fearsome Texans have a 2-7 record. And the fact that the free-safety is a cheap steal on the market is another reason for teams to sign him. Reed already earned his money for this year with $6 million from the Texans contract. A potential employer only has to pay him the minimum base salary.
Which team could be a potential landing spot? It would make sense if Reed signs with an old coach of his. The Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens are off the market reportedly. But New England Patriots and New York Jets seem to be a reasonable landing spot.
The New England Patriots are not really a home of a former coach of Reed, but head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady share a long admiration for the veteran and Belichick never shied to sign a veteran. The Patriot’s defense is surprisingly not a weak spot this year, but why not when you get a great player that cheap. Last year Belichick said about Reed: “He’s the best weak safety I’ve seen since I’ve been in the National Football League in my career. He’s outstanding at pretty much everything.”
Another option might be the New York Jets, as head coach Rex Ryan coached Reed for the main part of his career in Baltimore. Reed could boost up their defense at a low-cost. Asked if Rex likes to sign Reed, “Ryan danced around questions” reportedly but said: “’I would like him on the team.’ He quickly softened that statement by joking he'd like to sign Ray Lewis, too.”
The next days will tell if Reed’s career is over or if it gets a rebirth. Another shot at a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots won’t be that bad.
image: © aukirk