The New York Jets announced via their Twitter account on Thursday morning that they had agreed to terms with veteran safety Ed Reed. The nine-time Pro Bowler and five-time First Team All-Pro practiced with the team that afternoon and will be active for Sunday's game against Buffalo.
Reed was released by the Houston Texans on Tuesday, two days after he claimed that his team was "outplayed and outcoached" in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and less than a year after Houston's attempt to bolster its secondary by signing Reed to a three-year, $14.875 million contract.
The move to the Jets will reunite Reed with Rex Ryan, who was the Baltimore Ravens' defensive line coach from 1998 through 2004, and the team's defensive coordinator from '05 through '08. Also, Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman served as Baltimore's secondary coach from 2004 through '07. Reed, selected in the first round of the Ravens' 2002 draft out of Miami, was on Ryan's radar before he even cleared waivers.
"If we did, I keep that conversation private and all that kind of stuff," Ryan told the media on Wednesday, when asked if he and general manager John Idzik had talked about adding Reed to the roster. "But [it's] part of due diligence, if you've coached a player, I'm sure you would want that input. So, did we have it [a conversation about signing Reed]? I think it's safe to say yes ... Look, the way I am, I could say absolutely yes, I would like him on our team. And I'll say that knowing you guys know me.
''Anybody that I've ever coached, that bled for me, I want them.''
The Texans could never find a way to get Reed in the mix. It took longer than expected for Reed to recover from offseason hip surgery, and he played in just seven games for Houston, starting five. Reportedly believing that he had lost his speed, the 2-7 Texans demoted Reed to third safety last week. Reed said that if it helped the team win, he was fine with that, but postgame comments told a different tale.
“I know I’m held to higher standards because of what I’ve done in the past, but that was the past,” he said. “I’m a totally different player now.”
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, who missed the Cardinals game because he was recovering from a TIA (mini-stroke), addressed the Reed issue this week, after he returned to the facility.
“It all gets back to football," Kubiak said on Wednesday. "Obviously, I know there’s a lot said and this and that. I talked to Ed yesterday. We’re playing young guys and we really like the way D.J. [Swearinger] and Shiloh [Keo are] playing. His role became diminished, especially the last few weeks. In all fairness to him, like I told him, in respect to his career and what he’s done, and for us to be in a situation where we’re playing him 8-10 plays and that was going to continue with the way we’re doing it right now. I thought it was fair to him to give him an opportunity to play somewhere else, whatever he wanted to do. That’s how we came to the conclusion.
"He and I talked about it yesterday and we’ll continue with these young guys. They’ve been doing a good job.” In his career, the 35-year-old Reed has led the league in interceptions three times (2004, '08, '10), and his 61 career picks rank eighth all-time. With the Jets, he'll be in a rotation of safeties that includes Dawan Landry (another former Raven) and Antonio Allen.