The New York Jets made some big news two weeks ago when they decided to sign free agent safety Ed Reed following his release by the Houston Texans. The Jets knew that Reed was no longer the Hall of Fame caliber player he once was, but it was still thought that he could help improve their pass defense. After all, Reed is one of the best ball hawking safeties in NFL history, and he is very familiar with Rex Ryan’s defense.
However, is appears that Reed’s days as an effective player are over. He made absolutely zero impact in his first game against the Buffalo Bills, and he was even worse yesterday against the Baltimore Ravens, the team with which he earned his future spot in the Hall of Fame. Reed was directly responsible for a 66 yard Jacoby Jones touchdown, as he completely misjudged the ball and showed his lack of recovery speed.
The pass was one that would have been an easy deflection for the old Reed, and probably would have been intercepted. Instead, it resulted in a Ravens touchdown that killed any chances the Jets had of making a comeback. It was just one play, but the only reason the Jets brought Reed in was to help them defend the pass, particularly the deep ball.
If Reed can’t do that, then this signing will be a complete bust. The Jets have been terrible against the pass this season, and they desperately needed Reed to make an impact. Unfortunately, it appears that he is no longer capable of being that player. This doesn’t hurt the Jets in terms of their cap situation, as Reed is only signed for the veteran’s minimum, and they can always go back to Antonio Allen. However, the Jets needed an impact safety, and the fact that they still don’t have one is very damaging to their secondary.
The Jets still have a slim chance to make the playoffs, but their pass defense must improve tremendously if they are going to do so. Unfortunately, Reed doesn’t look like he is going to be able to help with that, and the Jets are back to square one.