Nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed will be released by the Houston Texans on Tuesday, the latest blow in a disaster of a season.
A person familiar with the decision confirmed the move to The Associated Press on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the team had not made it official. Reed tweeted: "Thanks to the Texans! And the City of Htown!"
Reed missed the first two games after hip surgery and was recently relegated to a backup role. On Friday, he expressed his displeasure at not starting. On Sunday, after Houston's seventh straight loss, he publicly criticized the team and said they had been outplayed and outcoached in the team's first full game without coach Gary Kubiak, who is recovering from a mini-stroke.
Interim coach Wade Phillips, who is the team's defensive coordinator, seemed unhappy when asked about Reed's comments on Monday.
"Everybody has their own feelings about what's happening," Phillips said. "They have their own ideas about what's happening or didn't happen. We try to keep everything in house."
The 35-year-old Reed was signed to a three-year, $15 million US contract in the off-season after he spent his entire 11-year career with Baltimore. The Texans courted him in an effort to beef up what they saw as an elite defensive unit that needed an upgrade in the secondary to make an expected run at the Super Bowl.
But Reed never showed the playmaking ability he had become known for in Baltimore and had just 16 tackles this season.
The move could mean the end of the career of a player many believe is the best to ever play his position. He was the AP defensive player of the Year in 2004 and led the league in interceptions that season and again in 2008 and 2010. He's made the Pro Bowl in each of the last seven seasons and was a five-time All-Pro.
He started each game for the Ravens last season and had four interceptions and 49 tackles to help them to a Super Bowl win.
A first-round draft pick in 2002, his 61 career interceptions were most among active players and he has 109 passes defended, 524 tackles and 11 forced fumbles in 167 games.
The Texans are reeling. Besides Kubiak's health problems, quarterback Matt Schaub was benched and standout linebacker Brian Cushing was lost for the season to an injury. Running back Arian Foster also needs back surgery and the Texans have gone from Super Bowl contenders to AFC bottom-feeders.