What's next for Ed Reed?
The future Hall of Fame safety was cut by the Texans on Tuesday, sent to the waiver wire just halfway through his first season of a three-year, $15 million deal he signed with a lot of fanfare in the offseason.
To say it didn't work out so well in Houston is a huge understatement. Reed was slowed first by offseason hip surgery, then just by the fact that he's 35 and his skills are in rapid decline. Reed played in seven games for the Texans and they lost them all. He was benched, saying after the most recent loss that the Texans were outcoached, and then he was kicked to the curb on Tuesday.
Not exactly the way a Hall of Fame career should end, but few NFL careers end on the player's terms. Of course, Reed had that chance. He could have walked off into the sunset holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his hometown of New Orleans last February. But he decided to give it another go, and he pocketed a few more million for doing so.
Now he's sitting on the waiver wire, no different than a hundred other fringe players hoping for their shot in the NFL.
Will Reed get another one?
The Ravens are not expected to put in a waiver claim on him. They moved past Reed when they chose to let Houston out-bid them for his services this offseason, and Reed has done nothing this season to make them change their mind.
The Ravens have taken their lumps this season, but they have made it clear they want to be younger and faster, and Reed fits that formula not at all.
Might a contender take a flyer on Reed, knowing he can be had on the cheap, and bring a Super Bowl ring and Hall of Fame resume to the locker room? And does the fact that he threw his coaches under the bus this week affect that?
The Colts are considered a possibility. Colts coach Chuck Pagano and Reed have been together with the Ravens and all the way back to the University of Miami. The Colts are thin at safety. But they have two established starters in LaRon Landry and Antoine Bethea. Both are better than Reed at this point. Reed made it clear he wasn't happy as a backup in Houston, and there's not much reason to think he would be with the Colts.
The Patriots are another potential landing spot, as Bill Belichick has long been a Reed admirer. Ditto for the Jets and former Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan.
But no one would be getting the player Reed was when Ryan was on the Ravens' sideline. If that Reed were still around, the Texans never would have cut him (and, in fact, the Ravens would have kept him.)
It's possible that a contender will kick the tires on Reed via a waiver claim, but the bet here is he's played his last NFL game.