Ed Reed to mull return to Jets, retirement

Set to become a free agent, veteran safety Ed Reed is keeping an open mind this offseason.

Ed Reed is unsure what his football future holds.

The veteran safety would like to keep playing, and for Rex Ryan and the New York Jets. Retirement can't be ruled out, either, but he expects to be in someone's secondary next season.

''There's 32 teams, man,'' Reed said Monday as the players cleared out their lockers. ''I know I'm going to be ready to play football next year.''

Reed's first order of business will be to get an MRI on his surgically repaired hip for ''total maintenance'' and then mull his options.

The 35-year-old safety had three interceptions in seven games with the Jets, who signed him after he was cut by the Houston Texans. But Reed, who had offseason hip surgery, appeared to lose a step from being the perennial Pro Bowl playmaker he was in 11 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

''I think I was pretty good for having two hip surgeries,'' Reed said, ''and being able to play in this defense after being on another team, first year through free agency.

''I have no regrets.''

Reed and Ryan are close from their days together in Baltimore, but it's uncertain if the Jets would be open to bringing him back next season unless it's at a veteran's minimum salary. Both Ryan and defensive coordinator raved about Reed's influence on the team's young defensive backs.

Reed wouldn't rule out coming back, saying his familiarity with the defense would be a major consideration.

''If the team will allow me,'' Reed said. ''And if everything goes according to my offseason, yeah.''

Reed, who has 65 career interceptions, had surgery on his hip in April and acknowledged that a full offseason and being healthy would help him going into next season. But he also bristled at a reporter's question as to whether people in New York had seen the ''real'' Reed.

''The real Ed Reed?'' he asked. ''I'm in my 12th year. I know how to play this game. I've played this game a certain way for a long time. The real Ed Reed was here. My expectations for myself are higher than you all could ever be.

''The standard has been set high, but like I've said, I set that standard.''

While he'd still like to play, the safety said he came close to retiring three or four years ago.

''So, there's always that possibility,'' Reed said. ''That's something I've always evaluated after every season since my first year. It's a violent sport. The sport is changing a lot and organizations are changing. It's just a different game.'' --

NOTES:

K Nick Folk, set to become a free agent, would like to return on a multiyear deal after going 33 of 36 on field-goal attempts. ''I think I've done my part,'' he said. ... WR Stephen Hill said no offseason surgery is planned on his ailing left knee that landed him on injured reserve for the last three games of the season. ... DT Sheldon Richardson, the No. 13 overall pick, predicted a few accolades will be heading his way. ''I am the defensive rookie of the year,'' Richardson said. ''I don't have odds. That's just how I feel.''

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