Ed Reed was signed to the Houston Texans as an unrestricted free agent on March 22, 2013 for three years, $15 million ($5 million of which is guaranteed). In April, Reed had surgery on his hip, and was then placed on the PUP list. Since then, he hasn’t played a down of preseason football, and it’s starting to look less and less likely that he’ll be back before the start of the NFL regular season.
But don’t think of this as a bad investment just yet. Reed — when healthy — is a ridiculously effective defensive force. Last year (at age 34), he had 58 tackles, four interceptions and 15 passes defended. He has 12 years of experience in the NFL, and each of those years he’s averaged at least 50 tackles, five interceptions and about one fumble. That’s a definite Hall-of-Fame career.
But this deal isn’t good just because of the caliber of player that the Texans are getting. It’s also financially well constructed. Rick Smith made sure to include in Reed’s contract $1 million of incentives that Reed only gets if he is an active member of the roster. In other words, every game that Reed misses costs him $62,500, or more than what an average American family makes in a year.
Now Reed probably isn’t one to care about money, as he has already made over $60 million in his career. He’ll probably gauge his return on how his body feels, and not his pocketbook. Even so, it’s refreshing to see the Texans not jump into this relationship with blind faith.
According to Comcast Sportsnet Houston, Reed is ahead of schedule in his recovery. He’s headed to Vail, Colorado this week to meet with Dr. Marc Philippon, who scoped his hip. After that meeting, he’ll head back to Houston, and everyone should know more about when he’ll be back. For now, count on Gary Kubiak to be starting either Shiloh Keo or D.J. Swearinger in his place on Week 1.