I like it when all time greats don the Jets uniform, there is something special about seeing a great player wearing that Jets green, however unfortunately a lot of those guys wear our jersey at the end of their careers, at a point where the skill-set isn't where it once was. I'm talking about LT, and Favre and now Reed.
Reed has been heavily criticised this year, first with the Houston Texans and then later with ourselves. Often looking a step too slow. Although the instincts were still there attracting the ball like a magnet. He finished this year with 3 interceptions which is tied with the team lead (Dee Milliner also has three). Personally I thought he would retire after winning the Superbowl last year, and I certainly thought he'd retire this year, but we may well see him as a 36 year old next year.
"I know I'm going to be ready to play football next year," Reed said.
Reed underwent hip surgery last April, so the question was posed more than once about his ability to return to his old form, at the ripe old age of 35. When asked if the Jets got the real Ed Reed, he replied::
"The real Ed Reed?" he asked, increduously. "I'm in my 12th year, I know how to play this game. I've played this game a certain way for a long time. The real Ed Reed was here. My expectations for myself are higher than y'all could ever be. The standard has been set high, but like I said, I said that standard."
Now I saw the real Ed Reed in Baltimore, it's that guy that's going into the Hall Of Fame, this was not the real Ed Reed. Mentally he still may be able to read the game like he always has, but physically his body may not have been able to act on his instincts. As mentioned earlier, he often looked a step too late to the ball. Perhaps a full off-season to fully rehabilitate his hip will bring him back up to speed, but at 36 years old. I wouldn't bet on it.
The Jets need to move on, and even if Reed does want to play next year, we should say thanks but no thanks. The Jets started to look more productive at the end of the defense as Reed's role was reduced and Antonio Allen started to take on more of the FS role. Now I'm not sold on our safety position, and for the 5th year in a row, I'd like us to address it in the draft or through a good free agent signing. However we certainly shouldn't be hanging on to these vets with declining skills.
Unfortunately we all know that Rex Ryan has a lot of loyalty towards his players, this can be a good thing....but it can also be a terrible thing. Giving Reed extensive snaps this year, especially when we were out of the play-off hunt was detrimental to the development of our younger guys like Bush and Allen. No doubt he probably taught them a few things about playing the position, and that was worth it. Now is the time to cut ties and go with the young blood in my opinion.
If he can't find a suitor, retirement is still an option
"I came close to retiring three, four years ago, so there's always that possibility," he said. "That's something I've always evaluated after every season since my first year. It's a violent sport. The sport is changing a lot and organizations are changing. It's just a different game."