HOUSTON — Ed Reed knew from the start of free agency that he wanted to play for the Texans and that his days in Baltimore were over.
The nine-time Pro Bowl safety signed a three-year, $15 million contract with Houston on Friday, adding championship experience to the Texans’ defense and leaving the reigning Super Bowl champions without another of their cornerstone players.
Reed said Texans general manager Rick Smith called him on the first day of free agency, and the Texans were his first choice from that point on.
“I think we both knew, just from the conversation, how things were going and how this would work,” Reed said. “It just was a matter of time with getting it done.”
The Texans’ gain was one more offseason blow to Baltimore, where Reed played his first 11 NFL seasons.
Star linebacker Ray Lewis retired and the Ravens traded receiver Anquan Boldin to the 49ers. With salary-cap limitations, Baltimore lost linebackers Paul Kruger (Cleveland) and Dannell Ellerbe (Miami) and cornerback Cary Williams (Philadelphia) in free agency. The Ravens also cut safety Bernard Pollard, who signed with Tennessee.
Panthers sign returner Ginn
The Panthers have signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Ted Ginn from the San Francisco 49ers. Carolina announced Ginn signed a one-year deal.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Ginn played six seasons in the NFL as a receiver and return specialist, the last three with the 49ers. In 2012, Ginn played in 13 games and averaged 10.2 yards per return and 23 yards per kickoff return. He caught just two passes for 1 yard.
Source: Bills meet, dine with QB Geno Smith
The Buffalo Bills’ offseason search for a quarterback led them to West Virginia, where they conducted a private workout involving Geno Smith.
A source told The AP that Smith’s workout took place on campus in the morning. The person added the former Mountaineer had dinner the previous night with general manager Buddy Nix, assistant GM Doug Whaley, coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
Smith is regarded as one of the top quarterback prospects available in the NFL draft next month.
The Bills open the draft with the eighth pick, and Nix has already expressed an interest in selecting a quarterback, though he won’t be pinned down to what round.
Buffalo’s need at quarterback grew larger last week after the team released returning starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has since signed with the Tennessee Titans. That leaves Tarvaris Jackson as the only experienced quarterback on the Bills roster.
Around the league
The Bears agreed to a one-year contract with linebacker D.J. Williams, a possible replacement for Brian Urlacher. ... The Browns signed free agent tight end Kellen Davis and cornerback Chris Owens to one-year contracts.