In a not-so-unexpected move on Thursday, the Jets signed future hall of fame safety Ed Reed. As we all know, Ed Reed was a staple in the Baltimore defense for the past decade. Obviously he is a shell of his former self, but this move is absolutely genius by the Jets front office for a few reasons:
1. Reed is still one of the premier defensive leaders in the NFL, regardless of his play on the field. This Jets defense is a young unit and needs this kind of battle-tested veteran leadership in the locker room and on the sideline. Having Reed ensures that this defense will have a veteran hall of fame presence for the remainder of the year, which could come in handy if the Jets make a playoff run.
2. We are paying him pennies, so if he comes in and makes 1 or 2 big plays than it is completely worth it. Upside: he plays incredible and we have a hall of fame safety on an already dominant defense. Downside: We have an incredible leader that can make a play or two here or there and hold together this young group. I’m sure Reed won’t suddenly regain his pro-bowl form, but will I ever doubt that Rex can get a defensive player to come out and play well for a few games? Never will I ever. So it will be interesting to see.
3. I think Ed Reed will have the most impact with respect to intimidation. Whenever Ed Reed is sitting in the deep middle, a QB is ALWAYS thinking about where he is. His presence on the field is just one more thing for a quarterback to think about. That extra thought turns into hesitation, and hesitation often turns into a turnover or a sack.
4. Another thing outside the box a little bit is that signing Reed was a collaborative effort. Early reports had Idzik denying any interest in Reed. It was later said that Rex went to Idzik and convinced him to pull the trigger. This mutual respect and collaboration between GM and Coach is encouraging. Rex was seen as a glorified defensive coordinator at the beginning of the season. A “dead man walking,” if you will. Now….he’s making midseason personnel decisions with the GM. Looks to me like there is a relationship forming between Rex and Idzik. As there should be. Idzik needs to understand that he has a very good coach for this team.
Overall, this signing can only bring good things to this team. Reed’s play might have taken a dip, but he is no way a liability on defense yet. He knows the system and he trusts Rex. Rex will put him in positions to help the team. But like I said…one or two big plays from Reed makes this move completely worth it.