When Ed Reed signed with the Texans, he wanted to be part of an organization that wanted him. Pointed, after the Baltimore Ravens did not match the Houston Texans' offer of $15 million over three years.
The Texans' courtship of one of the best safeties to play the game sure indicated they wanted him. But as Reed's time with the team unfolded, more happened with Reed off the field than on it. He had surgery, he mentored younger players, he talked about feeling like the Texans were a special team, just like his Super Bowl champion Ravens from the year before.
But things weren't all rosy with Reed and the Ravens. That he was a loose cannon off the field was balanced by the fact that he was one on it, too, in a very good way. He made himself invaluable to the franchise for that long, despite his insistence on being himself and saying what he thought -- two things football culture doesn't exalt.
But when Reed's level of play dropped from the transcendent level at which he played for so many years, and it did so by his own admission, that dynamic changed. And the business of football has seemed to chafe Reed.
The Texans insist Reed's release two weeks ago wasn't related to his comment the previous Sunday that the Texans were outplayed and outcoached. But Reed made it clear on Wednesday during the now-infamous conference call with Baltimore reporters that he thinks that is why he was released.
Some players might keep their thoughts to themselves, but Reed felt wronged, and he made that known when asked about his time with the Texans.
Some coaches might keep their thoughts to themselves (like Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, who declined to comment on Reed's comments). But Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, whom Reed attacked on Wednesday, offered his defense, and couldn't help but sneak in a few jabs (like echoing Reed's "the truth is the truth.") It is true, though, that Phillips' response was more respectful and deferential than Reed's, whom he again called a future Hall of Famer.
In the end, it was another jagged ending for Reed, this one without the warm fuzzy past he left in Baltimore.