HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The jury is out on the Texans’ biggest free agent signing this offseason. Similar to buying a brand new, expensive car, critics are torn between celebrating or having buyer’s remorse. NFL analysts are on both ends of the spectrum regarding the practicality of signing Ed Reed and what he will bring to the Texans’ secondary.
Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, the remorseful buyer, thinks the Raiders signing Charles Woodson was a better value than the Texans acquisition of Reed. Prisco said he even warned Texans GM Rick Smith before the deal took place.
“I told Rick Smith at the owners’ meeting. I said, ‘You’ll make a mistake signing by Ed Reed. I just don’t think he’s very good any more. It’s all name and not game,'” Prisco told SportsRadio 610’s MaD Radio on Friday.
Prisco argued that Reed was clearly past his prime, having had only 7 interceptions in two seasons and lingering hip problems.
“I just don’t think he’s very good anymore and quite frankly when you’re older at that position, what’s the point? You want to be young and fast. You don’t want to be old and slow.”
Prisco went on to criticize the reasoning that Reed would provide leadership and could help groom young players. The Texans needed a coach, not an aging nine-time Pro-Bowl safety to fill that role, according to Prisco.
“The bottom line is: does Ed Reed bring street cred, football cred? Yes, he does. He’s won a Super Bowl but so what? What’s it matter? If you can’t play, you can’t play and I just don’t think he was very good last year. Now I will say he was hurt and he didn’t tackle,” Prisco said.
Prisco also argued that Reed’s coverage is slow and too far off the line to be effective. “He plays 20 yards off the ball.”
And what about the interception in the Super Bowl? An unimpressed Prisco said it was more a “a horrible throw by Kaepernick” than a great play by Reed.
Brian Baldinger of the NFL Network vehemently disagrees. Baldinger, who also appeared on MaD Radio Friday, said an aging Reed was still a valuable asset.
“He played a full season last year. This time in the offseason, he’s had injuries. He’s had hip problems. But one thing about Ed is when the bell rings, Ed is on the field for the most part. Yeah, he’s toward the end of his career but I just think the guy still is a feared player. You can see it with the decisions,” Baldinger said.
Baldinger believes that Reed’s presence gives quarterbacks pause to rethink their passes. Whether it is Ryan Fitzpatrick or Peyton Manning, Baldinger thinks Reed adds an immeasurable intimidation factor.
“There is a fear throwing the ball down the field when he’s on the field. It’s clear he still has tremendous range. He’s never been a great tackler, but he’s good enough.”
Reed has played 42 regular season and 8 postseason games since his last hip surgery in April 2010. In 160 career regular season games, Reed has 61 interceptions, 7 touchdowns, and 6 sacks. Reed is currently recovering from offseasonhip surgery for a torn labrum in April. He is expected to be recovered in time for Texans training camp.