D.J. Swearinger

D.J. Swearinger making case for Ed Reed’s release

The Houston Texans have been consistent playoff contenders and needed that one player who could get them over the top, enter Ed Reed. While becoming more famous for singing ‘Two Tickets to Paradise’ before Free Agency, it seemed Reed’s ticket to paradise was to stay in Baltimore. With a ring on his hand, Reed chased the money that Baltimore wasn’t willing to give him while Houston was willing.  On one hand the Texans seemed pretty smart in signing a future Hall of Fame Safety to upgrade over Glover Quinn who signed with the Detroit Lions, but it seems the Ravens knew of an issue that the Texans did not know about that may have led to Swearinger becoming the starter at safety for the Houston Texans in 2013.

When the Ravens let Ed Reed walk in favor of drafting Matt Elam and getting younger, people thought there was no way this was happening. Ed Reed leaving the Ravens, come on, that sounds like something you would see happen in Madden. The Texans on the other hand opted for Reed and a younger safety by the name of D.J Swearinger. Swearinger, a second round pick out of South Carolina has been impressing the coaches in mini camps with the absence of Reed. Reed signed with the Texans not informing them of the fact he was going to have hip surgery and miss most of the off-season program. Swearinger has made the most of this by showing coaches that they didn’t need to sign Reed and should have shown more faith in him when they drafted him with the 57th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

While Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips may have been happy to coach a future hall of fame safety, Swearinger who they drafted to eventually be his replacement, earned nothing but praise from Phillips who is proving to be a potential week one starter.

“Swearinger is a really good athlete and made a really nice interception this morning,” Phillips said. “He seems to be feeling the defense real well… He’s very instinctive. He’s just learning the defense like everybody else, but he seems to catch on quickly, and he made an interception today where he was playing in another area but made the play. He’s a naturally good player that needs to keep developing, but we like him.”

Head Coach Gary Kubiak also had nothing but praise for him, something that should be of note to Ed Reed. Just because your a hall of fame safety, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have to work to earn your place on the team. Once he is fully healthy, something that may be hard to prove as it seemed Reed just wasn’t himself over the last couple years as a Raven. The Ravens knew this and also knew that due to his injuries it was time to get younger, and the Texans should do the same by releasing Ed Reed.

Ed Reed

There was so much talk about Ed Reed potentially joining the New England Patriots but you knew something had to be wrong when Bill Belichick, who absolutely loves Reed as a player opted for Adrian Wilson instead. From his play in mini camp so far, and the absence of Ed Reed, Swearinger should be able to make the most of his first off-season in the NFL.

While this may not be a popular choice after giving Reed $15 million, let’s remember only five million of it is guaranteed. Father time wasn’t able to catch up to Ray Lewis and he may have retired before father time could catch him. Ed Reed on the other hand wasn’t able to avoid father time as his age is showing and the injuries are preventing Reed from being who he used to be.

If I was the Texans, I would release Reed, announce Swearinger the new starting safety and let him battle Reed’s replacement in Baltimore, Matt Elam for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

As for Ed, the best thing for him to do is collect his two tickets to paradise and join Ray Lewis in retirement before he does any more damage to his aging body.

Mike Presley is a Division Leader  for The Penalty Flag. He hosts “The Front Seven Podcast” on Youtube.  Mike writes for the racing website www.hardcoreracefans.com during the NASCAR Season. Mike can be contacted on Twitter @mikepresley64 or via email, mike.presley64@yahoo.com.


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