Ed Reed already seemed like a good fit for the New England Patriots, especially given the praise Bill Belichick has had for the safety throughout his career. But now that Reed has been cut loose by his latest team, the Texans, and labeled disgruntled and a locker room problem, he may be considered even more likely to latch on with the team that loves talent no matter the baggage.
Two former Patriots players think the chances are good of Reed ending up with New England after being sent to waivers Tuesday.
“I know a coach down in New England that loves Ed Reed,” former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest said Tuesday on NFL Network, according to Yahoo! Sports. “When I was in those meetings, we talked about him a lot. He’s a heck of a player, he does a lot of things on and off the field because he’s a leader and he understands the game of football. He needs to go somewhere he doesn’t have to play 70 plays a game, where he can go in there and allow him some time to get healthier and maybe towards the playoffs if he’s feeling real good, stick him in there.”
The Patriots have seen their defense picked clean by injuries so far this year, including a thumb injury that’s holding back safety Steve Gregory. But with the New England secondary as stacked and cohesive as it’s been for years, Reed wouldn’t have to hold the unit up, although he could add to it once healthy.
“Really the only spot that makes sense is New England,” former New England fullback Heath Evans said on NFL Network. “You could stockpile him away on the bench, let him heal up. Communication is key for everything that Bill [Belichick] wants to do on defense — that guy has the mouthpiece to make this defense better when it counts. Let him learn what Bill wants to do [and] come Week 16, Week 17, those January games, I guarantee [Reed] will pay dividends.”
There are legitimate concerns that Reed, who was not brought back by the Ravens after spending his entire career with the team, is washed up, especially after the Texans opted not to use him much this year after he signed with Houston as a free agent. But a little humbling may make him a good spare part for a championship-minded team.