Ed Reed, who was a nine-time Pro Bowl safety for the Baltimore Ravens, signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Texans.
HOUSTON — Ed Reed knew from the start of free agency he wanted to play for the Houston Texans and that his days in Baltimore were over.
The nine-time Pro Bowl safety signed a three-year, $15 million contract with Houston on Friday, adding championship experience to the Texans’ defense and leaving the reigning Super Bowl champions without yet another of their cornerstone players.
Reed, 34, said Texans general manager Rick Smith called him on the first day of free agency and Houston was his first choice from that point.
“I think we both knew, just from the conversation, how things were going and how this would work,” Reed said. “It just was a matter of time with getting it done.”
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The Texans’ gain was one more offseason blow to Baltimore, where Reed played his first 11 pro seasons.
Standout linebacker Ray Lewis retired and the Ravens traded receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers. With salary-cap limitations, Baltimore lost linebackers Paul Kruger (Cleveland) and Dannell Ellerbe (Miami) and cornerback Cary Williams (Philadelphia) in free agency. The Ravens also cut safety Bernard Pollard, who signed with Tennessee.
“How fortunate we were to have Ed with us for 11 seasons,” Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome said. “He is one of the Ravens’ and NFL’s all-time greats. Words cannot measure what he did for us, including helping us win a second Super Bowl.”
Reed said he talked to Newsome, Ravens coach John Harbaugh and owner Steve Bisciotti before signing with Houston.
“Eleven years is a great book,” Reed said. “The way it ended, you can’t write a better script.”
But Reed called Houston “a perfect fit.”
Williams agree on deal
CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears agreed to a one-year contract with linebacker D.J. Williams, a possible replacement for Brian Urlacher.
The deal comes two days after the Bears said they couldn’t reach an agreement with Urlacher, the eight-time Pro Bowl selection who has been the heart and face of the franchise. They also have an opening at strongside linebacker after Nick Roach signed with Oakland.
Williams, 30, released by Denver on the eve of free agency partly because he was to make $6 million this year, gets a fresh start after missing nine games last season because of suspensions. Sources said Williams can earn a maximum of $1.75 million and none of the contract is guaranteed.
• The Carolina Panthers signed receiver Ted Ginn Jr., previously a San Francisco 49er, to a one-year contract.
• Instead of celebrating their Super Bowl title with a game at their home stadium, the Baltimore Ravens will start the regular season on the road, because Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles wouldn’t budge.
NFL officials wanted to have the Ravens play in Baltimore at night Thursday, Sept. 5. But with the Orioles already set to host the Chicago White Sox virtually next door that night, and the leagues and teams unable to reach a compromise, the NFL announced the Ravens will have to play somewhere else.
The Ravens and Orioles share a parking area, so they avoid playing at the same time because of potential traffic problems.
• St. Louis cornerback Trumaine Johnson, 23, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence in Missoula, Mont., where he played college ball for Montana.