With ESPN.com's Chris Mortensen and Rich Cimini reporting that safety Ed Reed is joining the New York Jets, the Washington Redskins have officially missed out on an opportunity to improve their porous pass defense. An opportunity they will regret not taking.
Ranked 26th against the pass this season, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which Reed wouldn't upgrade Washington's defense—save injury.
Yes, getting Reed to sign with the Redskins would've been challenging. They lack the familiar face that New York utilized, head coach Rex Ryan, to lure Reed. Nonetheless, Washington has appeal as well.
Redskins safeties Reed Doughty and Brandon Meriweather have been far from impactful this season. They have only one interception between them. Besides Meriweather's penchant for illegal hits, the duo has done little to deter teams from passing on Washington.
Allen doesn't have the track record of Landry, but seeing as New York assigned Allen the job of shadowing Rob Gronkowski in Week 7—as ESPN.com's Matt Ehalt details—he's clearly viewed highly within the organization.
With that said, it stands to reason that Reed will rotate with these safeties instead of supplanting them.
Additionally, the Redskins—like the Jets—are still in the playoff hunt. Making the playoffs at 3-6 may seem like a daunting task, but Washington did accomplish this feat just last season.
Reed's season totals of 16 tackles and zero interceptions are far from impressive, so you could argue that he isn't the same player he's been in the past.
This was something Reed admitted to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
“I'm held to a high standard because of what I've done in the past, but that was the past. I'm a totally different player now. Even when I did go out there, the ball didn't come my way,” Reed said.
Still, as Reed's latter remark indicates, his presence alone gives opposing quarterbacks pause.
Any way you slice it, even with a diminished Reed in tow, Washington's secondary would be better if he was signed.
This was a sentiment former NFL cornerback Fred Smoot agreed with on 106.7 The Fan (h/t CBS DC):
I would sign a Ed Reed for the rest of the year, to shore up a hurting defensive backfield.
And yes, he is not the Ed Reed we’re accustomed to, but I’ll take a three-fourths Ed Reed before a lot of players in this NFL. I promise you I will.
As it stands, though, Washington didn't sign Reed.
What will be the result of this, you ask? Look no further than the outing Christian Ponder had against the Redskins in Week 10.
Throwing for 187 yards and two touchdowns might not jump off the screen at you, but for a quarterback who only had a grand total of two touchdowns in his previous four games, that's certainly a noticeable improvement.
With the likes of Tony Romo, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles, Eli Manning and Matt Ryan quarterbacking teams on Washington's remaining schedule, Ponder's Week 10 totals might mirror their first-half numbers in their matchups with the Redskins.
This appalling truth leaves Washington's offense with virtually no margin for error. Anything short of offensive perfection in the remaining weeks will end the Redskins' season.
Signing Reed might not have changed Washington's playoff fortune, but it certainly would have altered this grim reality and improved the Redskins' chances at returning to the postseason.