Reed, 34, has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Houston Texans, according to multiple outlets.
After being drafted by Baltimore in the first round of the 2002 draft, Reed cultivated a career that will likely land him in Canton as soon as, or soon after, he becomes eligible.
Over 11 seasons with the Ravens, he appeared in 160 games, starting 159, posting club records of 61 interceptions and 1,541 return yards, also an NFL record. He scored 14 combined touchdowns between the regular season and playoffs with Baltimore. He is the only player in NFL history to score return touchdowns via punt return, blocked punt, interception and fumble recovery.
Reed is a nine-time Pro Bowler, a five-time first-team All-Pro and was the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Reed goes down as one of the greatest players to put on a Ravens jersey and was always known for his unpredictability, play-making and as a centerpiece of the great Baltimore defenses of the last decade-plus.
His loss is the latest in an offseason of change for the organization. Departing via free agency, trade and retirement are linebackers Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger, center Matt Birk, wideout Anquan Boldin, cornerback Cary Williams, and safeties Bernard Pollard and Reed.
General manager Ozzie Newsome said the team wasn’t going to make the same mistakes it did after winning the Super Bowl at the end of the 2001 season, restructuring veterans’ contracts to keep the club together at the expense of future financial flexibility. He has stayed true to his word, as Baltimore’s defense has been gutted. With four compensatory picks coming their way, the Ravens will have 12 selections in this year’s draft, putting them in prime position to rebuild the defense.
While losing veteran stars might sting fans, especially when one is a lifetime Raven and future Hall of Famer like Reed, the team has suffered similar hits in the past only to find quality replacements.