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There’s no reason why the New England Patriots shouldn’t at least talk to Ed Reed about the possibility of joining the team. The Patriots don’t need Reed and Reed doesn’t need the Patriots, but they would be a good fit together.
Reed is pretty much unanimously a Hall-of-Fame player and he’s now on the waiver wire. After playing 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, Reed left for the Houston Texans in 2013 following Baltimore’s Super Bowl winning season. He was recently released by the Texans following comments in which he voiced his displeasure with the team by saying they were “outplayed and outcoached,” in a recent loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
Reed is a nine time Pro Bowl, eight time All-Pro, former NFL defensive player of the year (2004), and three time NFL interception leader (2004, 2008, 2010) among other various awards.
The downside to Reed is that he is 35 years old and likely on the downside of his playing career. He only started five games for the Texans and recorded 14 tackles and zero interceptions. And although it’s not crippling, Reed also carries a one million dollar base salary and a $62, 500 roster bonus for each week he is active.
Bill Belichick and Reed have a mutual respect and admiration for each other. Reed’s comments about the Texans are very uncharacteristic and he is otherwise known as a strong leader.
In the past Reed has been asked about how he feels about Belichick and he responded, “He’s a winner, for one,” he then added, “Just watching ‘A Football Life’ with Coach Belichick, you can’t do anything but have much respect for Coach Belichick and the way he runs things. He allows football players to be football players.”
Last season when he was asked about Reed, Belichick said, “He’s the best weak safety I’ve seen since I’ve been in the National Football League in my career. He’s outstanding at pretty much everything.” He continued, “The list goes on and on with him. It’s just a question of pretty much anything he’s out there for, he’s good at.” That’s high praise coming from the otherwise reserved coach.
Also, starting safety Steve Gregory will be nursing a thumb injury for the next few weeks which will be crucial in determining New England’s playoff future. Reed could provide depth to the safety position. He still wouldn’t have to play every snap as the Patriots have enough players to spell him and allow him time to recover from his injuries and be ready to perform come playoff time.
The intangibles alone that Reed could bring to the field and locker room would be worth the call. With vocal leaders Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo out for the season, Reed could provide the veteran leadership that could take the defense to the next level that will be required to compete once the playoffs start.
For Reed coming to New England could help cleanse his currently tarnished image. It would also give Reed the chance to come to a Super Bowl caliber team which is why he left for Houston in the first place.
Giving Reed a call and bringing him in for a look really doesn’t seem to have a downside and may work out best for everyone if action is taken.