Baltimore Ravens fans may be still reveling in the Super Bowl win, but some of the gloss is now off as free-agent safety Ed Reed has all but made it official that he will be playing next season for the Houston Texans, ending his legacy with the Ravens.
In a report by ESPN, a league source said Reed has told the Texans he plans on signing with them. Reed visited the Texans last Friday but left without having a deal in place.
Apparently that changed Wednesday as Reed apparently made it clear that he will no longer be part of the team he's been with since he came into the NFL.
In a text message to NFL.com, Ravens coach John Harbaugh all but confirmed Reed's tenure in Baltimore was over, saying, "Ed is a great friend and player. I will always appreciate our time together ..."
Houston reportedly offered Reed a three-year, $12 million deal, sources indicated. But at an average of $4 million per season, that is a far cry from what Reed was seeking from either the Ravens or another team, namely, a deal close to the $7.2 million he earned last season.
The Ravens had hoped Reed would stay with the team, but at a greatly reduced salary.
"On the hopeful scale, I'd say it's of high hope," Harbaugh said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. "It's high on the measuring stick. We'll just have to see how it works out."
Unfortunately for the Ravens, it worked out for the Texans, who needed to make a big free agent grab like the eight-time Pro Bowler Reed after losing three key players to free agency: safety Glover Quin to Detroit, and tight end James Casey and linebacker Connor Barwin to Philadelphia.
Reed will be reunited with former University of Miami teammates Andre Johnson and Chris Myers at Houston.
Reed spent 11 seasons with the Ravens. He holds the team record with 61 interceptions, and a league record of 1,541 return yards from those pick-offs. He scored 14 touchdowns in his career and is the only NFL defensive player to score touchdowns on a punt return, blocked punt, interception and fumble recovery. This past season, he had 58 tackles and led the Ravens with four interceptions, having appeared in all 16 regular season games as well as the playoff road to a win in the Super Bowl.
Apparently expecting Reed to leave, Baltimore is expected to soon have a visit with Oakland Raiders free agent safety Michael Huff, according to ESPN.
Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith was shocked that the Ravens will now go forward without Reed and now-retired Ray Lewis.
"No Reed or Ray in Baltimore????? This season is gonna be weird," Smith tweeted.