After being released by the Houston Texans, future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed went unclaimed on waivers and now becomes a free agent. The move to let go of Reed appears to have been related to an angry rant on Twitter about the team’s performance this past Sunday, criticizing coaches and the team. The initial thought was that Reed might end up right back with the team he played for last year in the Baltimore Ravens, but head coach John Harbaugh was polite as he could be in saying thanks, but no thanks to the former all-pro.
Most likely, the Ravens being unwilling to claim Reed is a symptom of two things. First, Reed’s body has suffered through so many injuries and he has played through a ton, considering retirement at multiple times because he was playing through so much pain. Second, the Ravens are trying to move on from Reed and get younger. They moved on from a large amount of the past this past year when the husk of Ray Lewis and center Matt Birk retired. The Ravens do not seem like they want to bring back the past. Reed’s recent criticism of the Texans is unlikely to have had an impact because the team knew what they would be dealing with in Reed. It did not help his situation, but it is unlikely to hurt him.
It is unclear if Reed will have any suitors. His contract was not big when he was waived, so money did not appear to be an issue. It appears to come down to simple health and being able to contribute. Even in Houston, he was used as a role player as opposed to a starter. It is sad to see someone so great fall so far, but it may just be the end of Ed Reed in the NFL.