It looks like the longtime Baltimore Raven will sign with a different team heading into 2013, and it could possibly be the last big deal of his career.
Despite a long list of teams lined up for Reed's services, the one that has made the most noise has been the Houston Texans.
Reed met with the Texans on Thursday, taking a visit to Reliant Stadium. The news first broke on the team's official Twitter account, and was reaffirmed by a tweet from defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
Houston Texans @HoustonTexans
Free agent safety @TwentyER is in the offices at Reliant Stadium.3/14/2013, 8:20:11 PM
Wade Phillips @sonofbum
ER is here-We are about to talk in my office3/14/2013, 8:21:22 PM
Reed left Houston on Friday with a deal still not in place. But according to this tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the two sides will continue to talk to each other about a new deal.
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Ravens S Ed Reed has left Houston to tend to a previous engagement this weekend. Reed and Texans plan to continue talking.3/15/2013, 7:08:06 PM
After the initial meeting, Phillips had nothing but praise for the safety. He once again took to Twitter, saying:
Wade Phillips @sonofbum
Easy to see why ER is hall of famer-very smart with great talent- #greatcombo3/15/2013, 3:50:03 PM
While Houston landed a big win by getting a visit from Reed, the Texans are not the only team interested in his services. According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, Baltimore remains in the mix, as does San Francisco and Indianapolis.
With plenty of teams around the league lining up for Reed's services, the Texans must continue to work out a deal. Passing up on Reed is a mistake they can't afford to make.
Last season, Houston had one of the better defenses around the league. But while they excelled in defending the run, they were middle of the pack against the pass.
The secondary allowed 225.8 passing yards per game, good for 16th in the NFL. The corners played well, but Houston gave up one-too-many big plays down the middle of the field.
In an NFL where offense is on the rise, the secondary becomes all the more important. Houston dominated in the regular season, but their biggest losses came at the hands of teams like New England and Green Bay.
Not to mention the ever growing threat of the Indianapolis Colts. The Texans worked hard to get out from under the Colt's AFC South shadow, but they now have to find answers for Andrew Luck.
Last year's secondary was filled with solid players, but not great ones.
Johnathan Joseph had a good year—especially in the postseason—but struggled to stay healthy at times. Danieal Manning and Glover Quin were good at safety, but beatable.
Age remains a factor with Reed, as the 34-year-old plays one of footballs most physical positions. But with age also comes experience, wisdom and leadership.
Not to mention durability hasn't been a problem for Reed in the past. He has 32 starts over his last two seasons, and 159 spanning his 11-year career.
The fact remains that Reed is one of the best and most dangerous men to ever play the safety position. Last year he had four interceptions, 15 passes defended and 49 solo tackles.
And if we're talking experience, how about Reed's 11 years in the NFL and 15 postseason games—in which he has nine postseason interceptions.
Reed's career only has a couple of years left, but he's proven that he can still play at a high level. His aggressiveness and experience is exactly what that Houston secondary needs.
If the Texans can bring in Reed, it will provide a lynchpin for the secondary. It will also allow the team to skip using a draft pick on a safety, allowing them to focus on other needs in this year's NFL draft.
Despite the age, no one will deny Reed is still a dangerous player on any defense. If the Texans can net the safety, it would make them a championship caliber team.
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