Yesterday, I (Alan) posted a viewpoint that the Jets should not take a look at Ed Reed. Now, here is Craig Hoffman with the opposite side.
Safety Ed Reed was cut by the Houston Texans two days ago and from the moment that happened people wondered would he be a fit here in New York with the Jets? There was a chance that it would be a moot point and a team would claim him off of waivers yesterday but that didn’t happen. Now Reed is an unrestricted free agent and Rich Cimini of ESPNNY.com and Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports have confirmed that the Jets have made contact and do indeed have interest in acquiring the safety. It is now between the Jets and the Patriots so we should ask what can Ed Reed do for the Jets?
Reed is a free safety that will enter the Hall of Fame on the 1st ballot. He has 61 career interceptions, 13 touchdowns and 11 forced fumbles in his 11 year career the majority played in Baltimore while Rex Ryan was the defensive coordinator. He is 35 years old now and on the downside of his career. So why bring him in? Two reasons: one schematic, and the other leadership.
Ed Reed is an excellent fit for the Jets defense because he plays a role that has been lacking in the Jets defense, the deep safety. He wouldn’t have anything to learn or adjust to because this is the defense he thrived in while in Baltimore. Reed has made a living roaming around the back of the defense reading the quarterback and making plays on the ball. The Jets’ current safeties are better suited to play closer to the box and the only other true free safety, Josh Bush, can’t play his way onto the field consistently. Dawan Landry has done a decent job but has taken bad angles at times and has been beaten deep. He is more at home closer to the line of scrimmage. Antonio Allen has found a niche covering tight ends. The Jets are among the league leaders in allowing passes over 40 yards and a player like Reed who can police the back-end, even if in a reduced role in three safety formations, would help the defense.
The other reason is leadership. Ed Reed has a Superbowl ring and has been a positive locker room influence his entire career. He knows what it takes to win week in and week out in the league and can be an extension of Rex in the locker room. I am not counting his time this year with the Texans this year because the Texans are a mess, he didn’t fit well with Wade Phillips’ defense and having to think before acting even a little makes it look like you lost more steps than you actually did. The Jets have a glut of young safeties but the two with the brightest futures are Antonio Allen and Rontez Miles. Those two can benefit from learning the intricacies of both this defense and the safety position in general.
So what is the price of a safety who would fit in both on the field and in the locker room that also happens to be 35 and on the down side of his career? $455,000. Pretty much half of the veterans minimum guaranteed until the end of the year. I say that it is a risk worth taking. Can Reed be rejuvenated by Rex Ryan for a half of a season and turn back the clock? Rex Ryan said to never bet against him with a defensive player and who am I to argue with his track record? Hopefully the feeling is mutual with Reed.