Ed Reed signs with New York Jets, reunites with Rex Ryan
The New York Jets announced Thursday morning that they have signed Reed, and the veteran is expected to be suited up in green and white this weekend against the Buffalo Bills.
Head coach Rex Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2005 to 2008, during which seasons Reed was named first-team All-Pro three times (the only time he wasn't All-Pro under Ryan was during an injury-plagued 2005 campaign). Ryan has never been shy about referring to Reed as one of his favorite players to have coached, and Ryan's desire to have Reed in New York was reported almost immediately after Reed's release on Monday.
Reed is, quite frankly, having a horrible season after playing well in a Pro Bowl campaign a year ago. Expected to start and be a stud on the back end of the Texans' secondary, Reed was eventually demoted to the third safety role, only entering the game in nickel packages. He played just 13-of-69 snaps in the Texans' Week 10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. On the season, Reed has not made any big plays, registering no interceptions, passes defended, forced fumbles, or fumble recoveries. He has just 14 tackles on the season, with four missed tackles.
If Reed is going to revitalize his rapidly declining career, his best chance to do so is in a familiar defensive scheme that he dominated in for three years. He'll likely start at free safety for the Jets, kicking Dawan Landry - who has been solid this year - over to his more natural position of strong safety. 2012 seventh-round pick Antonio Allen - who has been the Jets' starting strong safety this season - will be sent to the bench. Despite Reed's regressing play, he should still be an upgrade over Allen, who has graded out 61st among qualifying safeties this season, according to Pro Football Focus.
It will be interesting to see Reed reunited with his old defensive coordinator in a new home. Considering how much Reed has talked about retirement in the past, this may be the last team we see him play for before he is enshrined in the Hall of Fame.