The New York Jets did what many expected them to do today, agreeing to terms with free safety Ed Reed. Reed is a future Hall of Famer who was released by the Houston Texans on Tuesday following his critical comments about the Texans’ coaching staff. Reed decided to join the Jets and reunite with Rex Ryan, who coached Reed for many years with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Jets have struggled to defend the pass all season, and no one in their secondary has really stood out as a playmaker. One of the most noticeable weaknesses the Jets have is their lack of a ball hawking safety who can play centerfield, cover the tight end and get interceptions. Reed fits that mold perfectly, and his familiarity with Ryan’s defense should mean that there is no adjustment period.
Reed will likely take over the starting free safety role from second year player Antonio Allen, who has been solid but not spectacular this season. Reed is certainly an upgrade over Allen, at least in the coverage department. Allen will still see a solid amount of playing time, as the Jets will not give Reed an overwhelming workload. The Jets also use some three safety looks in their nickel packages, which should suit Reed, Allen and strong safety Dawan Landry well.
This deal carries absolutely zero risk for the Jets, because Reed is only signed for the rest of the season and is making an insignificant amount of money. If it doesn’t work, all they have to do is bench or cut him, no harm done. However, if it does pan out, the Jets could have made a key addition to their roster that helps their chances of making the playoffs.
Don’t expect Reed to play at his former All-Pro level, because at 35 years old he simply isn’t that player anymore. However, if can come up with a couple interceptions and do a solid job in coverage, the Jets will be very happy. This is a low risk, high reward move from the Jets, and it was very good work by John Idzik to get it done.