Since the Texans have signed no free agents that weren't with the team last year and have seen Glover Quinn, James Casey and Connor Barwin all leave for other destinations, the recent flirtations with Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed have been all Texans fans have to talk about. Never mind the fact that Reed represents a replacement -- albeit a good one -- for a player they lost rather than an addition; it would make for a notable story.
Unfortunately, Reed came to town on Bob McNair's private jet -- thanks to the team's tweets, we know that for sure -- but left with no deal. Not a good sign. This sparked outrage among some fans that all Reed was doing was using the Texans to get a better deal from the Ravens, which immediately prompted comparisons to Carlos Beltrán, the former Astro who signed an outrageous deal with the Mets after using the Astros to drive up the price.
Just like Beltrán, Reed talked to a Houston team about signing here but didn't (or I should say hasn't yet). And that is where the comparisons end.
First, Beltran was a player the Astros traded for knowing full well he was in the final year of his contract. The "rented" Beltran, who played tremendously well for the Astros before moving on in much the same way Randy Johnson had. The difference was that Johnson was fairly clear that he had no intention of remaining in Houston and Beltran pretended. Reed is a free agent. He can do whatever he wants and has no reason to be loyal to Houston outside of his friendship with Andre Johnson.
Second, Beltran was in the prime of his career and was looking for more than just a big payday. He wanted the spotlight that New York could deliver, or so he thought. Reed is on the wrong side of 30 and looking for what will likely be a final deal from an NFL team. He is trying to get every dime he can because he probably won't be playing in another three or four years.
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Most important, Reed owes nothing to Houston. He has spent his entire career in Baltimore. If anyone should be upset over his meetings with other teams, it should be Ravens fans. Beltrán, it can be argued, was given a chance to shine in Houston. Instead of rotting on a terrible Royals team, he hit eight home runs in the postseason and was clearly one of the best players in the playoffs that year. It was his spot on the Astros roster that gave him that opportunity.
And, by the way, Reed still hasn't made a decision. It is conceivable he could still end up in Houston.
Texans fans are clearly feeling desperate what with the player losses and no real news surrounding the franchise while rivals like the Broncos and Colts seem to be improving. Still, this is a team stuck in a financially difficult situation and on the verge of having to pay both Brian Cushing and JJ Watt in coming seasons. Caution is probably not the worst virtue even if there is a sense they better go all in before they have to start over.
So, if you want to complain about the Texans, by all means. But don't be angry with Ed Reed or compare him to Carlos Beltrán, whether he signs with the Texans or not.