Is Ed Reed a Real Option for the Cleveland Browns?

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | It wasn't that long ago that Ed Reed would have been the best defensive player on the Cleveland Browns. Those days are gone.

Two days after Reed told reporters that the Houston Texans had been "outplayed and outcoached" in the team's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Texans announced that they will be parting ways with the 12-year pro. Reed, who inked a three-year $15 million deal with Houston last offseason, hasn't made much of an impact in 2013. He had a total of 16 tackles (14 solo) with the Texans. He has zero passes defended and zero interceptions in 2013. The 35-year old lost his starting job in Houston.

Rumors immediately began to swirl regarding Reed's future home once news of his release broke. Some have speculated that the New England Patriots could use the help in their secondary. Others are wondering if a reunion with the Baltimore Ravens could be in the cards, even if it means Reed signing a one-day contract in order to retire as a member of that franchise.

The Browns giving Reed even a glance does make some sense, in theory. Cleveland has two games with rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers left on the team's schedule. I'm sure Reed would love two more opportunities to face off against his old nemesis.

One also shouldn't undersell what Reed could give to the team off of the field. Imagine what the likes of Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, Tashaun Gibson and Buster Skrine could learn from just training alongside Reed several times a week from now until the end of December. Who knows more about winning defensive battles in pivotal cold weather AFC North showdowns than does Reed? Not many people.

The biggest issue preventing the Browns from making the move is that the team's defense is far from broken. It is, in fact, the best in all of the division, and one of the best defenses in the NFL. Odds are that a playoff contender that has real needs in the secondary would be willing to spend more on the former superstar than would Cleveland.

As happens to every elite player, time has taken its toll on Reed. He's no longer the player of old. He's just old. He cashed in on one final deal, and good for him for doing so. Reed doesn't have the goods to get a significant amount of snaps on a defense that is the caliber of Cleveland's.

I'm a big advocate of no idea being a completely dismissible and dumb one. The Browns bringing Reed in for a workout at some point in the next week if nobody else beats them to it would hardly be an awful idea. The veteran would really have to sparkle in such a session, however, to earn more than that from Cleveland.

For more: Browns and Roethlisberger

Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010.

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