The Baltimore Ravens already lost one future Hall of Fame defensive player this offseason when Ray Lewis retired.
Make it two now that free safety Ed Reed is heading to the Houston Texans.
Reed has ended his nine-year career with the Ravens by agreeing to contract terms with the Texans, CBS Sports first reported.
Reed had narrowed his options to the Texans and Ravens after taking a free-agent visit to Houston last week. The Texans sent team owner Bob McNair’s private jet to fly in Reed and made a hard push to sign him but couldn’t immediately seal the deal as he considered returning to the Ravens.
Reed becomes the latest Ravens player to leave the defending Super Bowl champion. Lewis and center Matt Birk retired, wide receiver Anquan Boldin was traded to San Francisco and strong safety Bernard Pollard was cut. Three others who played a significant role in Baltimore’s championship run — outside linebacker Paul Kruger (Cleveland), inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (Miami) and cornerback Cary Williams (Philadelphia) – signed elsewhere as free agents. The Ravens also could lose left tackle Bryant McKinnie in free agency.
The Ravens are courting a potential free-agent replacement for Reed in Michael Huff, who was released by Oakland earlier this month after seven seasons with the Raiders. Reed’s injury history, age (34) and general manager Ozzie Newsome’s prudence in managing the team’s salary cap are believed to have contributed to a contract offer that couldn’t match what the Texans were bidding. The Baltimore Sun reported that Reed received $7 million guaranteed as part of a two-year contract.
Reed brings veteran savvy to a Texans secondary that was looking to replace free-agent departure Glover Quin (Detroit). A seven-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, the ball-hawking Reed has more interceptions (61) than any player since he entered the league as a 2002 first-round draft pick. Reed also holds the NFL record for interception return yardage (1,541) and has scored 14 career touchdowns on defense and special-teams returns.