Ed Reed to mull return to Jets, retirement

Ed Reed is unsure what his football future holds.

The veteran safety would like to keep playing, and for Rex Ryan

and the New York Jets. Retirement can’t be ruled out, either, but

he expects to be in someone’s secondary next season.

”There’s 32 teams, man,” Reed said Monday as the players

cleared out their lockers. ”I know I’m going to be ready to play

football next year.”

Reed’s first order of business will be to get an MRI on his

surgically repaired hip for ”total maintenance” and then mull his

options.

The 35-year-old safety had three interceptions in seven games

with the Jets, who signed him after he was cut by the Houston

Texans. But Reed, who had offseason hip surgery, appeared to lose a

step from being the perennial Pro Bowl playmaker he was in 11

seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

”I think I was pretty good for having two hip surgeries,” Reed

said, ”and being able to play in this defense after being on

another team, first year through free agency.

”I have no regrets.”

Reed and Ryan are close from their days together in Baltimore,

but it’s uncertain if the Jets would be open to bringing him back

next season unless it’s at a veteran’s minimum salary. Both Ryan

and defensive coordinator raved about Reed’s influence on the

team’s young defensive backs.

Reed wouldn’t rule out coming back, saying his familiarity with

the defense would be a major consideration.

”If the team will allow me,” Reed said. ”And if everything

goes according to my offseason, yeah.”

Reed, who has 65 career interceptions, had surgery on his hip in

April and acknowledged that a full offseason and being healthy

would help him going into next season. But he also bristled at a

reporter’s question as to whether people in New York had seen the

”real” Reed.

”The real Ed Reed?” he asked. ”I’m in my 12th year. I know

how to play this game. I’ve played this game a certain way for a

long time. The real Ed Reed was here. My expectations for myself

are higher than you all could ever be.

”The standard has been set high, but like I’ve said, I set that

standard.”

While he’d still like to play, the safety said he came close to

retiring three or four years ago.

”So, there’s always that possibility,” Reed said. ”That’s

something I’ve always evaluated after every season since my first

year. It’s a violent sport. The sport is changing a lot and

organizations are changing. It’s just a different game.”

NOTES: K Nick Folk, set to become a free agent, would like to

return on a multiyear deal after going 33 of 36 on field-goal

attempts. ”I think I’ve done my part,” he said. … WR Stephen

Hill said no offseason surgery is planned on his ailing left knee

that landed him on injured reserve for the last three games of the

season. … DT Sheldon Richardson, the No. 13 overall pick,

predicted a few accolades will be heading his way. ”I am the

defensive rookie of the year,” Richardson said. ”I don’t have

odds. That’s just how I feel.”

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org