Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith (82) rushes past Houston Texans free safety Ed Reed in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
It's no secret that both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady consider Ed Reed one of the league's best players. Or at least they used to. Reed played safety in Baltimore for 11 years and he will undoubtedly be a first-ballot hall of famer. But the 35-year-old signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Texans this offseason and he lasted two months.
Reed, who was slowed by offseason hip surgery, is nowhere near the player he once was, and he leaves Houston with neither a pass defended nor an interception, and had lost his starting job to Shiloh Keo. But given Belichick's willingness to take fliers on players with either off-field issues ore past their prime -- and have plenty of success doing so -- it stands to reason that Reed could be on the Pats' radar too, especially since they need a safety; starter Steve Gregory is sidelined a few weeks with a broken thumb, and his replacements have been less-than-stellar.
Given this, ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss writes that "it wouldn't be surprising" if the Pats show some interest in Reed. More details via Reiss:
This takes us back to the offseason and the team's decision-making process at the position. The Patriots saw it as a need and ultimately signed veteran safety Adrian Wilson (three years, $5 million) instead of Reed (three years, reported $15 million). Part of that might have been cost-related but also about focusing on a different style of play -- Wilson is a bigger, more physical safety while Reed is the rangy free-safety type (a role held by emerging Pro Bowl talent Devin McCourty in New England).
There's also this: Two of the Pats final three regular-season games are against the Texans and Ravens, and players nothing if not competitive. And perhaps an opportunity for Reed to show his former teams that he can still play will be taken into consideration by the Pats.
"So if Reed passes through waivers," Reiss adds, "and there is interest from Reed himself, it makes sense to think the Patriots would at least explore the possibility, if not make it happen."