The first rule in covering safety Ed Reed is don't ever try to predict what he'll do.
Despite all signs pointing to Reed finalizing a deal with the Houston Texans today, the mercurial free agent left Houston without a contract.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Reed left the Texans' offices Friday afternoon because of a previous engagement, and negotiations will continue through the weekend. Still, it's never a positive sign when a free agent leaves without a deal. His agent will also contact other teams, which probably means he'll shop the Texans' offer to see if Reed can do better. Schefter indicated Friday that the chances of Reed signing with the Texans were "50-50 at best."
It wouldn't be surprising if Reed's agent makes contact with the Baltimore Ravens. Three years ago, Baltimore let linebacker Ray Lewis test the free-agent market before re-signing him. Another interested team could be the San Francisco 49ers, who lost Dashon Goldson in free agency.
The Texans put the full-court press on Reed, flying him to Houston on a private jet and sending general manager Rick Smith to pick him up at the airport. Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, who went to dinner with Reed, thought a deal was going to get done.
Various reports indicate Reed and the Texans remain close on a deal and that he'll end up in Houston. I'm not disputing that Reed could ultimately sign with the Texans, but like I said before, don't try to make a prediction about Reed. This is the same Reed who will hint about retirement one day and talk about playing four more years the next. He's the most unpredictable player I've met in 13 years covering the NFL. Quarterbacks never know where he's going to be on the field, and no one really knows where he'll eventually land this offseason.