The future Hall of Fame safety, released Tuesday by the Houston Texans, cleared waivers late Wednesday, meaning he's a free agent. Two hours before he hit the open market, Ryan -- in a roundabout way -- admitted interest in Reed, whom he once coached in Baltimore. Ryan acknowledged that he discussed Reed with his general manager.
"I could say absolutely, yes, I'd like him on our team," Ryan said.
He proceeded to list some of his retired players -- Brandon Moore, Alan Faneca, Trevor Pryce, Damien Woody -- mentioning them as players he'd still like on the team. It was Ryan's way of saying he can't have everything he wants. He also hinted that it's not his call, that Idzik is the boss, as if we didn't already know that.
Times have changed. Under former GM Mike Tannenbaum, Ryan probably had more input on personnel decisions.
"The big picture of right now, the current football team, I'm probably not the right guy to make all those decisions," Ryan said. "I think sometimes there's a comfort level in knowing guys, without question, guys that certainly played well for you. ... I'd like those guys, without question."
The takeaway from listening to Ryan: He's hot for Reed, but Idzik is pouring cold water on the idea. Yet, later in the day, CBSSports.com reported the Jets and New England Patriots are showing interest in Reed.
"I wouldn't be surprised if us or the Patriots picks him up," tight end Kellen Winslow said of his former University of Miami teammate.
Winslow raved about Reed, saying he'd like the Jets to sign him. Asked if Reed, 35, still can contribute, Winslow said, "Please. Are you kidding me? He's the best I've ever seen do it at safety. He's going to land somewhere and wreak havoc. I'd love to have him here. He's the ultimate leader. In our defense, he'd be able to gamble all he wants. He's a great asset, a smart player."
Ryan said he likes his current safety group, adding, "I tell you what, the one kid I think has a chance to be really good, and that's Antonio Allen." The Jets also have veteran Dawan Landry, who used to play alongside Reed in Baltimore.
"I don't think he'd be bad for the Jets," said former Washington Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato, who has studied Reed closely the past few years. "He played with Landry before. Rex has coached him and Rex has had success with older dudes, so he won't let him practice (too much). That's probably the best situation for him, there or New England. I think he'd want to play for those guys because he respects those coaches."