Free-agent safety Ed Reed, who won the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and was named to nine Pro Bowls over his 11 NFL seasons in Baltimore, will join the Texans in 2013 according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
Future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed has agreed to terms with the Texans, ending his Ravens career.— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 20, 2013
Now, it's worth mentioning that at this moment nothing is completely official, as La Canfora's colleague Albert Breer of NFL.com pointed out.
Ed Reed tells me via text that he's going to the Texans -- "Nothing official, but unless something changes, yes." So there you have it.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 20, 2013
However, Breer's later tweet seemed to squash any fading hope that Reed might return to Baltimore.
Text from John Harbaugh on Ed Reed: "“Ed is a great friend and player. I will always appreciate our time together ..."— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 21, 2013
And what a time it was.
Over 11 years in Baltimore Reed racked up over 500 tackles, forced 11 fumbles, intercepted 61 passes and returned seven of those for scores. He was an eight-time All-Pro and a Super Bowl champion.
Breer pointed out that at least one new teammate was psyched about of the move.
Another of Breer's colleagues, Daniel Jeremiah, bemoaned that at least one person would likely not be.
I spent 4 yrs in the Ravens org...Ed Reed was easily my wife's favorite player. She always said he was our best offensive weapon.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 20, 2013
So far as the football side of this signing goes (that end is rather important, after all), Mike Freeman of CBS Sports hailed the deal as a "brilliant" move that will "help the Texans get to the next step."
Houston desperately needed someone like Reed on that defense. Almost every time I've seen that secondary in a big spot, against a good quarterback, it gets absolutely torched. Tom Brady destroys a lot of secondaries, but what he did last season against Houston is considered a misdemeanor in 15 states.
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky wasn't quite as effusive in his praise of the deal, calling it a "risk worth taking", but Kuharsky seemed to agree that the 34-year-old will bolster an already formidable Texans team.
In joining a team that won 12 games in 2012 and went two rounds into the playoffs for a second consecutive season, Reed can provide swagger for a defense that faded down the stretch.
However, not everyone was a fan of the move. According to Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, the Texans haven't gotten one bit better in their secondary.
Texans lose Glover Quin and sign Ed Reed. That's a big step down. There, I said it.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) March 20, 2013
And Prisco could well be right.
Make no mistake, Ed Reed may be a much bigger name than Glover Quin, and have a longer resume, but Reed is also 34 and graded out far below Quin in Pro Football Focus' overall safety rankings.
With that said, though, Ed Reed is also much better in coverage than Quin, and he's Ed Reed. The guy who lives to make big plays. If Reed has one more year of that left in him, it's a gamble that could pay off big for Houston.
Whether you love this signing or hate it, ESPN's John Clayton pointed out one fact about Ed Reed going to the Houston Texans that appears indisputable.
This is the trend. Teams are only going to a certain level to keep their veteran icons. We've seen it with Urlacher, Ed Reed and W. Welker— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) March 20, 2013
I'm not sure if that's shrewd, sad, or both.