FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Ed Reed has posted a bounty on footballs.
The New York Jets safety badly wants one to come his way. So, he put them on notice with a T-shirt.
“WANTED,” reads the black shirt that features an Old West-style poster with a picture of a football in the middle, “In The Air Or On The Ground. $20,000.”
“It’s tough when the ball is not coming as close to you as it used to,” Reed said Thursday. “It’s a respect thing as well. It is what it is. We just have to make plays, find ways to make plays and when the opportunity presents itself, you have to be ready for it.”
Reed made up a few of the shirts, handing them out to a few of his teammates, including cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and rookie Dee Milliner. The whole bounty idea is a joke, of course.
“No, I’m not offering 20 grand for a turnover,” Reed said. “It’s a shirt, man.”
But the fact is: The Jets need to create turnovers in a big way. They have only seven takeaways on five interceptions and two recovered fumbles, which ties them with San Diego for the fewest in the league.
Reed wouldn’t mind doing his part in improving that total this Sunday. After all, Reed is going back to Baltimore. Again.
But this time, the veteran safety is facing his former teammates as a member of the Jets. Signed last week after being waived by Houston, Reed is expected to play quite a bit against the team he played for in his first 11 NFL seasons.
And wouldn’t it be pretty sweet to get his 62nd career interception and first this year on Sunday?
“Ask me that after the game when I pick one,” he said, smiling. “I don’t know. I really can’t describe that. I really can’t describe that moment right now. I just want to win a ballgame. I haven’t been on a team that’s won a football game since the Super Bowl, so this will be special.”