Former All-Pro safety Ed Reed insists he has enough left in the tank to play in 2014. So where in the NFL might he find a home?
St. Louis Rams
Veteran safeties tend to get exposed unless they play behind strong pass rushes, which is why it will be important for Ed Reed to seek out teams that need safety help but have strong defensive lines. His best hope might be the St. Louis Rams. Their front four could be the most deadly in terms of pass rush behind Robert Quinn, Chris Long and now Aaron Donald. Reed and his rangy style of play would fit well next to T.J. McDonald. That of course is assuming his instincts and speed are still good enough.
Another team with all sorts of questions at safety. The current competition is “wide open” on their defense according to coaches. Former starter Chris Conte is rehabbing from shoulder surgery and didn’t play well last season. That would leave M.D. Jennings, Ryan Mundy and rookie Brock Vereen as the principle obstacles Reed would have to beat out in order to earn a starting job. He’d have Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston and Jeremiah Ratliff rushing the passer, so it’s certainly a job worth having for somebody keen enough to grab it.
Kansas City Chiefs
One of the hopes for the Kansas City Chiefs was to find help at safety in order to lend a hand to Pro Bowler Eric Berry. Despite his best efforts, he is not the best coverage man, proving to be more of a classic box safety. So to think Husain Abdullah or Malcolm Bronson would be responsible for the back end is a little unnerving for Chiefs fans. Even at age 35, Ed Reed would likely be an upgrade over them and his experience in a 3-4 system would mesh well. Throw in Justin Houston and Tamba Hali as pass rushers, and it’s a good spot to land.