HOUSTON – The Houston Texans made perhaps the biggest veteran acquisition in franchise history Thursday, reportedly signing safety Ed Reed to a contract that will likely keep him in Houston for the remainder of his career.
The Houston Chronicle reported Reed’s deal to be for $15 million over three years, with $5 million in guaranteed money.
“It’s truly a great day for our franchise,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said. “We are here to announce — and to celebrate — Ed Reed as a Houston Texan.”
Reed, 34, is a former NFL defensive player of the year who had spent his entire career with the Baltimore Ravens, who he helped lead to a Super Bowl last season. Regarded as one of the best free safeties of all time, Reed joins an already stout Texans defense that boasts reigning defensive player of the year J.J. Watt at defensive end, two-time Pro Bowler Johnathan Joseph at cornerback and is expecting the healthy return of former All-Pro Brian Cushing at linebacker.
The Texans won the AFC South in 2012 but lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game. It was the best season in franchise history.
“It’s awesome to go from a great franchise to another great franchise,” Reed said Friday. “It’s a matter of being somewhere that fits for me and the team.”
The move made sense for the Texans, who are growing old at some key positions on offense. Quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson are both in their early 30s, meaning the core of a team that looked like the AFC’s best for most of last season is in the final two or three years of its Super Bowl push as currently constructed. But the move made sense for Reed, too. He gets to probably play out his career for a Super Bowl contender, and he gets re-united with Johnson, a former teammate at the University of Miami and one of his best friends.
“I came here to win a championship,” Reed said.
The signing also more than mitigates the loss of safety Glover Quin, whom the Texans let walk via free agency. Until Quin’s departure, safety was not thought to be a high priority for Houston, and it might not have been until the Texans realized Reed would become available. Although the Texans have otherwise been quiet in free agency, they will be looking to add a No. 2 wide receiver, possibly a starting inside linebacker and depth at outside linebacker and offensive line.
Reed’s move signals the end of an era in Baltimore. Linebacker Ray Lewis has retired and the Ravens also cut their other starting safety, Bernard Pollard (a former Texan).
A nine-time Pro Bowl selection, Reed has an NFL-record nine postseason interceptions. His 61 career interceptions rank 10th in NFL history.
“We haven’t had that guy that’s a centerfielder and can cover all that ground,” Texans owner Bob McNair said. “Ed Reed does that.”