The Houston Texans (2-7) released safety Ed Reed on Tuesday, two days after the Texans lost their seventh consecutive game at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals (5-4) and Reed publicly said the Texans were ‘out-coached’ by the Cardinals. The Texans’ ongoing struggles have correlated well with Reed’s struggles in Houston, leading to the 35 year-old’s release.
The 12th-year pro, who was in his first season with the Texans after spending his first 11 years with the Baltimore Ravens, has appeared in seven of the Texans’ nine games this season. Reed hasn’t intercepted one pass, but despite his horrific season the Green Bay Packers should sign the former All-Pro and future Hall of Famer.
If the Packers would claim Reed off of waivers, Green Bay would only be responsible for paying him $411K, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Packers have struggled lately while quarterback Aaron Rodgers recovers from a collarbone injury, but the Packers’ defensive secondary has been horrendous in creating turnovers all season.
As a team this year, the Packers have intercepted three passes — that’s right, three. The defensive secondary has potential and talent, but what the Packers are lacking is a veteran presence who can lead by example and take away the deep ball, which is exactly what Reed could provide in Green Bay.
In the offseason the Packers released another former All-Pro and future Hall of Fame defensive back (Charles Woodson), and it’s time for Packers General Manager Ted Thompson to go away from the norm and give another player of the same caliber a shot at redemption.
In 2012, Woodson missed nine of the Packers’ 16 regular season games, but losing his leadership has proven to be an absolute punch to the Packers’ gut on defense. Having a voice like Reed on the back-end of the Packers’ defense, even for only half of a season, would be a great boost for a Packer secondary trying to regain its identity.
Morgan Burnett is the undisputed quarterback of the Packers’ defense, but even Burnett could use a ball-hawking safety opposite of him to help take care of the Packers’ recent pass coverage problems. The Packers haven’t found a player who can cover the deep-thirds of the field like Reed since Nick Collins was the Packers’ stalwart free safety (Collins suffered a career-ending neck injury in 2011).
The Packers shouldn’t release M.D. Jennings or Chris Banjo in favor of Reed, but Thompson could afford to let Jerron McMillian go. McMillian has been nothing but a liability for the Packers’ defensive secondary all season, and I have a hard time believing that Reed would be any kind of downgrade from him.
Thompson doesn’t have to spend any kind of serious money or give up any draft picks to add Reed, while the Packers need a proven veteran ball-hawk to help create turnovers and keep them alive in the NFC playoff hunt. Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy love to build their team from within so it’s unlikely Green Bay would entertain the idea of adding Reed, but the Packers wouldn’t risk much giving Reed one last hurrah in 2013.
The Packers have to ask themselves if it could it could get any worse for Green Bay’s secondary this season if they were to sign Reed and the answer is no. Signing a cheap two-month rental with serious credentials like Reed could only help the Packers.