FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Rex Ryan and Ed Reed have been reunited.
The New York Jets and the nine-time Pro Bowl safety agreed to terms on a contract yesterday, bringing one of the NFL’s greatest playmaking defensive players to a secondary on a pass defense that ranks 24th in the league.
The 35-year-old Reed was released Tuesday by Houston, cleared waivers Wednesday and joined the Jets a day later. He was with his new Jets teammates on the practice field wearing a green No. 22 jersey; his familiar No. 20 is currently worn by cornerback Kyle Wilson.
The Jets released outside linebacker Ricky Sapp to make room on the roster for Reed.
Ryan, who coached Reed for several years in Baltimore, acknowledged Wednesday that he and general manager John Idzik discussed the possibility of adding him.
“If we did, I keep that conversation private and all that kind of stuff,” Ryan said. “But part of due diligence, if you’ve coached a player, I’m sure you would want that input. So, did we have it? I think it’s safe to say yes.”
Ryan went on to say “absolutely, yes” he would like Reed on his team — just as he wants any player he has coached or “bled for me.”
Reed has always been one of Ryan’s favorites, and he once labeled him the greatest safety to play the game. While his physical skills no longer make him one of the game’s elite players, Reed will be able to serve as a leader in the secondary and help bring along young safeties Antonio Allen, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Josh Bush.
There’s a good chance Reed will be ready to play Sunday at Buffalo, at least in certain situations, and it is a low-risk, high-reward situation for the Jets. While Ryan has said he liked his group of safeties, adding a player of Reed’s experience, familiarity with the system and playmaking potential was clearly seen as a positive by both Ryan and Idzik.