Eric Reid a potential target
Did Tashaun Gipson's release open the door to an Eric Reid signing?
The Houston Texans are still in the premature stages of revamping their roster ahead of the 2020 season, but Bill O'Brien saw fit to make another significant move. On Monday, the Texans announced the release of veteran safety Tashaun Gipson after one season in Houston.
Highlighted by Justin Reid, the third-year safety out of Stanford University in 2018, the Texans have a solid group at the position with the offseason acquisition of Eric Murray, Michael Thomas and Jaylen Watkins. Unfortunately, neither of the three may be capable to replace what Gipson brought to the field each week last season. Although it is not an essential need, it may be in Houston's best interest to add a new safety prior to the start of training camp, but the market is extremely thin with the draft now an event of the past.
With little options available, the decision to part ways with Gipson will give the Texans an opportunity to sign free agent safety, Eric Reid as a potential replacement.
While his outspoken antics may have played a factor in his surprise lack of interest around the league, that has not stopped O'Brien from expressing some thoughts into signing the one-time Pro-Bowler. Earlier this month, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported that Reid's brother, Justin, vouched for the idea to sign the veteran free agent, and O'Brien has considered the move.
After two solid seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Reid continues to find himself unemployed since his release in March. As one of the most reliable safeties in the league, he posted a career-best 130 tackles (97 solo hits, 33 assists), six pass deflections, five quarterback hits, and 4.0 sacks across 16 games in 2019. His best outing of the season came during a 34-31 loss against the New Orleans Saints — where Reid recorded a team-high 15 tackles on the day.
If Reid had played on a playoff-caliber team last season instead of the 5-11 Panthers, his on-field production would have been valued similarly to his days with the 49ers. Not only would Houston have the opportunity to add a reliable safety, but one who would be the perfect — and even better — addition to replace what Gipson brought to the Texans' gridiron.
In his lone year in Houston, Gipson recorded 51 tackles (37 solo hits, 14 assists) and three interceptions during the 2019 season. Gipson originally signed a three-year deal with the Texans following his departure from the Jacksonville Jaguars last offseason.