HOUSTON — Ed Reed knew right from the start of free agency that he wanted to play for the Texans and that his days in Baltimore were over.
The nine-time Pro Bowl safety signed a three-year, $15 million contract with Houston on Friday, adding championship experience to the Texans’ defense and leaving the reigning Super Bowl champions without yet another of their cornerstone players.
Reed said Texans general manager Rick Smith called him on the first day of free agency and the Texans were his first choice from that point on.
“I think we both knew, just from the conversation, how things were going and how this would work,” Reed said. “It just was a matter of time with getting it done.”
The Texans’ gain was one more offseason blow to Baltimore, where Reed played his first 11 NFL seasons.
Star linebacker Ray Lewis retired and the Ravens traded receiver Anquan Boldin to the 49ers. With salary-cap limitations, Baltimore lost linebackers Paul Kruger (Cleveland) and Dannell Ellerbe (Miami) and cornerback Cary Williams (Philadelphia) in free agency. The Ravens also cut safety Bernard Pollard, who signed with Tennessee.
“How fortunate we were to have Ed with us for 11 seasons,” Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “He is one of the Ravens’ and NFL’s all-time greats. Words cannot measure what he did for us, including helping us win a second Super Bowl. We thank him for all he did for Baltimore. Ed will always be a part of the Ravens family.”
Reed said he talked to Newsome, Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh and owner Steve Bisciotti before signing with Houston.
“Eleven years is a great book,” Reed said. “The way it ended, you can’t write a better script. Eventually, we knew Baltimore had to make decisions and in the end, they made those decisions.”