Another bird is about to leave the nest. The details are still being ironed out, but Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and the Houston Texans are close to a deal as reported by NFL.com’s Albert Breer on Wednesday.
Reed texted Breer to say he would sign on Thursday. Details have not been disclosed, Breer said they are working on a two-year deal.
The 34-year old Reed is likely a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He played 11 seasons in Baltimore. He is a nine-time Pro Bowler and the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year. He had 70 career interceptions with the Ravens.
Aside from his ball hawking capabilities on the field, Reed was a leader in the locker room. Head coach John Harbaugh spoke about his leadership:
“He was a great leader,” Harbaugh said. “Our relationship has just blossomed. It’s been good, but this year with Ed especially, we really just got close. The leadership he brought to the team, through Ray’s [triceps injury], was really fantastic.”
The Ravens let Reed test the free agent market to see if he could find a better deal. The Ravens did the same with newly retired linebacker Ray Lewis in 2009, Lewis decided to stay with the team. Reed’s story has a different ending.
While Reed hinted at retiring in the past, he changed his tune and decided to go for the money even if it meant leaving the team he played for his entire career. He admitted the decision wasn’t easy:
“It’s definitely tough, but after 11 years, you pretty much understand things about the business. After leaving a program like Miami and being around the great people in Baltimore, I think the transition (to his next team) will be all right.”
Reed is the sixth defensive starter to leave during this year’s free agency. He follows in the footsteps of linebackers Ray Lewis, Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe, cornerback Cary Williams and safety Bernard Pollard.
Reed is one of my favorite Ravens so it will hard to say good-bye. I will never forget watching him on game day, his ball hawking skills are legendary and will land him in the Hall of Fame someday. I’m thankful that Reed remained a Raven for so long, I will miss him. Good luck in Houston.