HOUSTON – Free-agent safety Ed Reed is on the verge of becoming a Houston Texan, according to multiple reports.
CBSSports.com reported Wednesday night that a deal was in place, and the NFL Network quoted Reed as saying he was headed to Houston “unless something changes.” Neither Reed nor his agent, David Dunn, immediately returned phone messages left by the Associated Press.
The Texans wouldn’t confirm the reports, but it looks as if their bold, public courtship of Reed paid off.
Last Thursday, Reed flew to Houston aboard owner Bob McNair’s private jet and Reed spent two days meeting with coaches and management. Reed and his representatives left town without a deal and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens were reportedly making a pitch to retain him.
But the Texans apparently won out, reviving an otherwise disappointing free-agency period. Houston has lost safety Glover Quin to Detroit and tight end James Casey and linebacker Connor Barwin to Philadelphia since free agency began.
Reed, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection, had dinner with Texans star receiver Andre Johnson and center Chris Myers, his former college teammates at Miami. Johnson said afterward that he was confident Reed would join the team and after a tense week of waiting for Reed to make up his mind.
Reed has played all 11 of his NFL seasons in Baltimore, where he’s the franchise leader in interceptions with 61. His 1,541 return yards with those pickoffs is an NFL career record. He was the NFL defensive player of the year in 2004 and an eight-time All-Pro.
Reed’s departure would be one more crippling blow to the Ravens, who’ve been gutted since winning the Super Bowl.
They traded receiver Anquan Boldin to San Francisco for a sixth-round pick and linebacker Ray Lewis retired and joined ESPN. When free agency began, linebacker Paul Kruger signed with Cleveland and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe left for Miami. Baltimore also released safety Bernard Pollard, a former Texan, and Philadelphia signed cornerback Cary Williams.
Titans sign Pollard: The Tennessee Titans have agreed to a one-year contract with safety Bernard Pollard, the second safety the team has added in free agency this offseason.
The Titans announced the deal Thursday.
A seven-year veteran, Pollard spent the past two seasons with Baltimore. The 6-foot-1 Pollard also has played with Kansas City and Houston starting 85 of his 105 career games with nine interceptions, nine sacks, 10 forced fumbles and seven recovered fumbles.
General manager Ruston Webster says Pollard is a physical and experienced safety who was a key player as the Ravens won the Super Bowl. Webster says that adding both Pollard and George Wilson gives the Titans more options and improved depth at safety.
The Titans gave up a franchise-worst 471 points last season.
Patriots add Wilson: Adrian Wilson gives the New England Patriots the physical presence they’ve lacked at safety. They give the former Arizona Cardinal a chance for a rare playoff appearance.
And the five-time Pro Bowl player says he hasn’t lost a step despite diminished playing time last year. Wilson said Thursday that was the decision of his coaches and he feels great now.
The strong safety spent all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Cardinals before being released March 8. He signed with the Patriots eight days later. Wilson said having a legitimate chance at a division championship and a Super Bowl berth were attractive to him.
Duper arrested: Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper is facing charges he beat up his 17-year-old son during a series of fights at their Jacksonville home.
Jacksonville police say the 54-year-old Duper, following his arrest Wednesday, spent the night in jail before posting a $5,000 bail and being released Thursday afternoon.
Police say Duper attacked his son, Marcus, three times Wednesday night, twice knocking him out.