Brad Davis, Reed's financial adviser who accompanied him on his recent visit to the Texans, said only a few minor details were being ironed out regarding contract language, but the deal was in place.
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Reed mulled over his decision this week while his agent, David Dunn, continued negotiations with the Texans during the just-completed owners' meetings in Phoenix. The Texans were aggressive in their pursuit of Reed, and the final deal will average between $5 million and $6 million a year in all likelihood.
The Ravens had told Reed they would like to keep him, but were monitoring the situation more than putting firm offers on the table, sources said. It was clear that while they valued him at a certain price point, at this stage in his career they were not going to be as competitive with their offers.
The Ravens have undergone a roster purge, post Super Bowl, and have been successful doing so in the past, retooling their roster on the fly. They want to get younger at many positions, with Reed and Ray Lewis now moving on from their defense, and will bring in safety Muchael Huff for a visit while earmarking some of the money that might have gone to Reed to a pass rusher instead, which is a need (Baltimore has interest in Elvis Dumervil and Dwight Freeney, sources said, and, to a certain degree, Osi Umenyiora).
Reed is considered by many to be the greatest safety in NFL history and certainly one of the true playmakers on that side of the ball. He holds records for interceptions and return touchdowns and agonized over this decision, according to those close to him.
While it is difficult for him to leave the only team he has played for, the Texans courted Reed heavily from the outset and emphasized to him that they believed he could be a key piece to help them get over their playoff hurdles and into a Super Bowl.