That is the question on a lot of Jets fans minds right now. Just 11 games and five million dollars into his Houston Texans career, the team decided to cut him on Tuesday. The 35 year old free safety has now officially cleared waivers as of 4 pm Eastern Time making him free to sign with any team he chooses.
The Jets will no doubt be one of several teams interested in Reed’s services, but the big question I have is, can he still play? Reed had clearly lost a step or two in his final season with Baltimore last year prompting the team to not resign him after their improbably Super Bowl run this past January. That should be a red flag in itself. There is no team in the NFL that knows Reed better and they chose to pass on re-signing the future Hall of Famer.
Reed’s play this season also leaves something to be desired. Houston signed Reed to a three-year, $14.875 million contract in March hoping that he would be the final piece to a Super Bowl contending team. Instead, the Texans wound up getting a fragile player who was not capable of more than just a reserve role. The 11 year veteran appeared in just seven games for Houston this year posting zero interceptions and just sixteen tackles.
The Jets issues in the secondary have been a constant throughout this years season. Dee Milliner has struggled with injuries and Antonio Cromartie hasn’t looked like the player of a year ago. In addition the Jets can’t seem to find someone who can cover a Tight End. Opposing Tight Ends have consistently been a thorn in Rex Ryan’s side despite the improved play of Antonio Allen.
Does Ed Reed have enough left in the tank to be a contributor for the Jets or any other NFL team? The better question might be, does he have the motivation? He certainly didn’t look to be motivated down in Houston with the team dropping to 2-7 after losing to Arizona this past Sunday. In addition, Reed went public with his displeasure after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, saying the Texans were “outplayed and outcoached.” Although Houston has not said it, I’m sure Reed’s comments contributed to his release.
Maybe it’s possible that he just needs a change of scenery. Reed is also very familiar with Rex Ryan and also Dennis Thurman, the Jets Defensive Coordinator, from their Baltimore days. The transition would seemless because of Reed’s familiarity with the Jets complex defensive scheme. Plus, Rex always seems to find a way to motivate and get the best out of his players. There is no doubt in my mind that Ryan would be open to a reunion, but will new G.M John Idzik agree?