After departing the Ravens – the only team he’d known during what will be a Hall of Fame career – safety Ed Reed was released by the Houston Texans today.
Now it’s unknown whether the career of one of the greatest Ravens of all-time is over.
Reed, 35, could have ended on top with a Super Bowl along with friend and linebacker Ray Lewis, but chose to continue his career despite a long history of injuries.
The Texans courted Reed aggressively and publicly this offseason, and ended up giving the safety a reported three-year, $15 million deal with a $5 million guaranteed.
But Reed’s time in Houston was rocky from the start.
After signing, he underwent a second hip surgery that sidelined him for the entire offseason and two games of the regular season. He played his first game as a Texan against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on Sept. 22, losing 30-9.
Once he got on the field, Reed wasn’t the player of old.
He started his first five games back, but never got his hands on a pass. Known for being a ball hawk, Reed didn’t log an interception or pass deflection in Houston. He has 16 tackles.
Reed struggled so mightily that he was replaced as the team’s starting free safety by Shiloh Keo, a 2011 fifth-round pick out of Idaho, two weeks ago.
“None of us are bigger than the team, not even your superstars,” Reed said. “It’s a team sport. I’m the ultimate team player. If that’s what we’re (going) to do to win, so long as we’re winning, I honestly don’t care.”
The Texans aren’t winning, however. They are 2-7, and after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals, Reed told reporters that the Texans were “outplayed and outcoached.”
For fans wondering whether the Ravens would re-sign Reed, he will now head to waivers. Any team that claims him would reportedly assume the $411,764 left of his 2013 salary.
The Ravens will not be making a waivers claim for Reed, according to Pro Football Talk and other reports.
If Reed’s career is over, he’ll likely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and will forever be known as a Raven. He recorded 61 interceptions in 11 seasons in Baltimore, and is the NFL’s all-time leader in interception return yards (1,541).