Free safety Ed Reed is proving how serious he is about testing the open market, and possibly leaving the Ravens.
Reed is scheduled to begin his free agent visit with the Houston Texans on Thursday, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.
The Texans have a reputation for being closers and have the advantage of employing wide receiver Andre Johnson, one of Reed's closest friends from the University of Miami. A Louisiana native, Reed emphasized during the Super Bowl week that he's interested in playing in the South.
Reed might not sign with the Texans immediately necessarily even though they've made an impressive contract offer already, according to sources.
The Texans have been involved from the start of the free agency signing period, immediately declaring their interest in Reed.
If the Texans don't strike a deal with Reed, the San Francisco 49ers are expected to meet with him, per a source. Coached by Chuck Pagano, Reed's college coach and former defensive coordinator in Baltimore, the Indianapolis Colts could emerge as a factor depending on price.
Reed hinted Wednesday afternoon that something was going on with him via his Twitter account.
“My tweets have nothing to do with contract,” Reed wrote. “Just a laugh for the day. Tune in to my decision on tv. I will do it just as King James announced.”
The Reed visit coincides with other dominos beginning to fall on the safety market as San Francisco 49ers Pro Bowl free safety Dashon Goldson signed a five-year, $41.5 million contract with Tampa Bay and the Texans lost starting safety Glover Quin to the Detroit Lions via a five-year, $26 million contract.
Now, the Super Bowl champions could have to replace both starting safeties if the Texans are able to convince Reed to join their roster.
The Ravens cut hard-hitting strong safety Bernard Pollard on Wednesday, one year after he signed a $12.3 million restructured contract that included a $3 million signing bonus and saved $1 million against the salary cap for the 2013 season. Pollard was due a $500,000 roster bonus on Saturday.
And the 49ers met with former Green Bay Packers safety Charles Woodson as a potential replacement for Goldson. If the Texans don't reach a deal with Reed, the 49ers are a potential destination for the nine-time Pro Bowl selection.