Ed Reed Benched in Houston


I said it back in February, and I’ll say it again now.

I really wish my favorite player ever, Ed Reed, would have just retired after finally touching the Lombardi Trophy down in his hometown of New Orleans earlier this year.

Not only because it pains me to see him put on another uniform (it does), but because of the nerve impingement in his neck that he’s been playing with for several years; a hit the wrong way could mean Ed never walks again.

While that’s true in a way for any player who steps on the football field, the risk is that much greater for Reed due to his condition.

The other reason I really hoped Reed would just walk away was to ensure that he would go out on top. While he wasn’t quite the player he had been for most of his career in 2012, he still had an interception in the Super Bowl, and he still patrolled the middle of the field and struck fear into the hearts of opposing quarterbacks.

I didn’t want to see him end up as an even emptier shell of the great, great player he once was.

But even I didn’t see this coming.

According to CBS in Houston, Reed has been benched by his new team, the Houston Texans.

Ed Reed was the Texans big-ticket acquisition this off-season. But his first eight games with the Texans haven’t been worth the price of admission.

After missing the first two games due to injury, Reed has yet to register a win in a Texans uniform. The team still lists him as a starter but against the Colts it was D.J. Swearinger and Shiloh Keo who started the game at safety, neither had ever started an NFL game coming into this season. Meanwhile, Reed was used almost exclusively as the third safety in the dime package.

Reed’s stats hardly read like the impact player the Texans thought they were signing. He has recorded 16 tackles, no sacks, and no interceptions in the six games he’s played. Perhaps more telling – for a player known as one of the NFL’s best ball hawk’s – Reed has not gotten his hands on a single pass. According to the NFL’s official statistics he hasn’t recorded a pass defense this year.

Late in his career in Baltimore, Reed’s impact was just as much about the plays he prevented as about the plays he made. Opposing teams still shied away from him even after his days of multi-interception games were mostly behind him. Still, it’s jarring to see that he’s failed to get his hands on a single pass with Houston. Teams tried to throw away from him his entire career, but he still found a way to make plays.

While I understand that Reed did what he felt was best for him and his family when he signed his three-year, $15 million deal in Houston, it’s a shame to see him reduced to the kind of guy that gets benched.

It looks like the Texans would only have to eat about 1.3M of dead cap money  if they chose to cut him this offseason, so that seems increasingly likely. The CBS article linked above speculates that he could be a cap casualty so the team can sign J.J. Watt and Kareem Jackson to new deals.

And no, I don’t think the Ravens should have matched Houston’s offer (even now knowing how disastrous the Michael Huff signing turned out to be – Huff “replace” Ed Reed…HA!) The Ravens knew that Ed was no longer a player who could demand that type of financial commitment. Though, as many have suggested, perhaps his leadership would sure be nice right now – but again, only if he’d come back on the cheap, which was never going to happen as long as there were teams out there with money to throw at him.

I suppose there could be a silver lining for Ravens fans here – while we had hoped to see Reed and Ray Lewis go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame together, it now looks like we might instead have inductees in back-to-back years.

So there’s that, I guess.

As so many of us said so many times when he’d start lateraling his freshly-intercepted pass around…damn it, Ed.

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About Derek Arnold

Derek Arnold
RSR/ESR Senior Editor. Derek is originally from and a current resident of Pasadena, MD. He’s a graduate of UMBC and has been a lifelong Baltimore sports fan. In 2007 he founded B’More Birds’ Nest, where he wrote about the Ravens and Orioles before joining RSR in 2012. Derek’s work has...more

14 Raves on “Ed Reed Benched in Houston

  1. Chris on said:

    I knew Reed wasn’t worth what he wanted, but he is still a play maker. People why Flacco this or that, and why we couldn’t keep Reed. Well, you don’t overpay players just to keep them. Ed Reed picked his own path and he will probably be cut at the end of the season. Way to go out on top Ed Reed… NOT. You should have remained in Baltimore and help the players on the team and defense you helped build with Ray Lewis!!!

  2. Anonymous on said:

    As much as I wanted Ed to stay in Baltimore, I still understand that Football is a a business. You have to be crazy to think that he should have stayed and accepted less money just to please the fans or the team. He made his decision based on what was best for him and his family. He’s still one of the greatest defensive players to ever play the game.

  3. Brian Kujawa on said:

    Ed Reed hurt his neck on an ATV accident (Ray Lewis was with him). I only know this b/c I work with Ray’s brother-in-law…

  4. Joe on said:

    Call me crazy, but it’s obvious that Reed will be cut to make room for a deal with Watt. Also obvious that he will retire a Raven( you know sign a $1 contract then retire the next day). Why not bring him back now, waivers shouldn’t be a problem. And not for his ability to make plays, but for his leadership in the locker room and his ability to organize the secondary on the field. Yep I said call me crazy, but at this point in the season we don’t have a lot to lose.

    • Adam F on said:

      Yeah trade a 7th round pick for him restructure his contract and have him finish out the year here. Now that’s what I call fantasy football…

  5. PG County Raven on said:

    It would have been great had he retired a Raven after the Super Bowl but it wasn’t to be! However, he understands the business of the NFL = Not For Long, wanted a few dollars, and a team was willing to pay more. His best days are certainly behind him and when he does retire he’ll retire as a Raven and go into the HoF as a Raven.

  6. Voice of Reason on said:

    Ed Reed has been on the decline for a few years now and it is surprising, actually shocking, that the Texans offered the kind of money they did. I do believe Ed was less than honest about the condition of his health and if they would have known he needed a hip operation, he would have not been signed. The Ravens were tuned in to his health and there was no way they were even going to tender a contract to him. But he made his choice to grab money one last time rather than leave on top.

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