Future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed is now a free agent after clearing waivers.
Ed Reed went unclaimed on waivers. Now a free agent.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 13, 2013
I don't want to do a post on every conceivable player who becomes available, but there has been a lot of speculation about Reed potentially coming to the Jets. Reed played under Rex Ryan when Ryan was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens, and the two have spoken well of each other. Could there be a reunion?
To me this is a lot like the Nnamdi Asomugha situation. I think people might be a tad too focused on the name and what the player used to be instead of what the player is now. Reed was in decline before leaving Baltimore. The range that helped turn him into one of the greatest ballhawks the NFL has ever seen has all but evaporated. He was getting outplayed by Shiloh Keo in Houston. This doesn't feel like a case where a guy simply didn't fit the system. This doesn't feel like a case where a change of scenery is needed. This doesn't feel like the case of a guy not being what he used to be but still effective. It feels like a case where one of the key ingredients that made Reed a player is gone. Rex Ryan might be a brilliant defensive mind, but when 35 year olds lose their athletic ability, it does not come back. Perhaps the Jets could hide Reed by giving him easier assignments, but they could just as easily do that with the players they have now.
The Jets are trying to win in 2013, but they are also building something bigger for the future. It seems tough to justify giving up a roster spot that could go to a young developmental player who could help for years to come to make room for a player in such steep decline. It also would be difficult to take snaps away from a guy like Antonio Allen, who could be part of this team's future, for somebody like Reed. The Jets should try to win now, but they should not look for a quick fix that would make them weaker in any way in 2014. Would Reed make sense in a reserve role? Not really. Again, the Jets would be better served developing young players who can help on special teams with those spots. If you get past the fact his name is Ed Reed and look at what he actually has been doing on the field, it's debatable he would be much of an upgrade anyway.
What about bringing Reed in as a mentor? That's a bad use of a roster spot. If you have a guy who can both play and teach young players, it is a bonus. Roster spots need to be earmarked for players who can help the team on the field. The coaching staff's job is to develop players.
What are your thoughts?