Ed Reed: Patriots made contact

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After signing with the Jets on Thursday, veteran safety Ed Reed was asked by reporters if the Patriots had also contacted him. He said yes, while adding that a player from a third team also texted him after he was waived Tuesday by the Texans.

The possibility of Reed coming to New England created a bit of a buzz over the last two days. After Reed landed with the Jets, there were a few lingering questions:

Were the Patriots interested and Reed simply chose the Jets instead? Or did the Patriots, while respectful of Reed's career, not deem him a fit?

With Reed acknowledging that the Patriots made contact, it now seems fair to say there was at least some level of interest from New England. To what level remains unclear, as it could have been more of a reach-out to let Reed know that if the safety situation changed in New England in the coming weeks -- and he was still available -- perhaps then there would be a better fit.

For his part, Reed said of the Patriots that, "Going in there [and] trying to learn a new situation probably would have been difficult." (h/t Kimberley A. Martin of Newsday)

As for the Patriots' present snapshot at safety, the following is the playing-time breakdown this season:

Devin McCourty -- 660 of 667 (99 percent)

Steve Gregory -- 554 of 667 (83.1 percent)

Duron Harmon -- 125 of 667 (18.7 percent)

Tavon Wilson -- 5 of 667 (0.7 percent)

Gregory broke his right thumb Nov. 3 and has yet to practice, which has Harmon (2013 third round, Rutgers) and Wilson (2012 second round, Illinois) primed to bump up the depth chart until his return (estimated at a "few weeks", according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter). Special teamer Nate Ebner would also move one step closer to possibly seeing time on defense in sub packages, which aren't projected to be a major part of the plan Monday in Carolina.