Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/28/13
It’s no secret that Patriots coach Bill Belichick is a giant fan of Ed Reed. From Belichick musing with Tom Brady about Reed’s defensive skills in A Football Life to the lovefest that Reed gets every time Belichick is asked about him before a Ravens game, it’s obvious that Reed is among the players Belichick most admires, if he’s not the favorite. Now, there’s a chance that Reed could actually play on a Belichick-coached team (and not just in the Pro Bowl). Peter King of Sports Illustrated said Sunday night during the Pro Bowl that the Ravens will likely let Reed become a free agent in March, opening the door for the Patriots and Belichick to make a move. Of course, much of this depends on the Ravens’ cap and defense situations, and the Patriots’ scenarios. While New England is entering the offseason with more than $18 million in cap space, the Pats also have about two dozen players who have become free agents, including wide receiver Wes Welker, cornerback standout Aqib Talib and other key players. Reed would likely only switch teams if he could get a good payday, and the Patriots are not likely to bend over financially for a safety whose best days are behind him. But Belichick loves what Reed can do not only as a player but also as a tactician. Belichick has long shown interest in Reed’s smarts, and bringing in the veteran playmaker could lift the rest of the Patriots’ struggling defense, even if Reed can’t take all the snaps. After the Patriots made the most of veteran safety Rodney Harrison‘s contributions on their way to their three Super Bowls a decade ago, bringing in a safety who has dominated for years wouldn’t be a bad idea. As fantasies go, this is a dream for Belichick and Patriots fans. But it’s a dream that’s closer to reality than some may have thought.
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