Ed Reed knew right from the start of free agency 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.
Reed said Texans general manager Rick Smith called him on the first day of free agency and the Texans were his first choice from then 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.
‘‘How fortunate we were to have Ed with us for 11 seasons,’’ Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. ‘‘He is one of the Ravens’ and NFL’s all-time greats. Words cannot measure what he did for us, including helping us win a second Super Bowl. We thank him for all he did for Baltimore. Ed will always be a part of the Ravens family.’’
Ravens to open on road
Instead of celebrating their Super Bowl title with a game at their home stadium, the Ravens will start the 2013 regular season on the road, because Major League Baseball and the Baltimore Orioles wouldn’t budge.
The NFL wanted the Ravens to play in Baltimore on Thursday night, Sept. 5. But with the Orioles set to host the Chicago White Sox next door at 7:05 p.m., and the leagues and teams unable to reach a compromise, the NFL announced the Ravens will have to play somewhere else.
The teams share a parking lot, so they avoid playing at the same time because of traffic problems.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that the league would like to set up some sort of Super Bowl celebration in Baltimore that night, perhaps including a pregame concert, even if the Ravens aren’t there.
The Ravens’ Week 1 opponent hasn’t been announced.
Smith dines with Bills
The Bills conducted a private workout in West Virginia with quarterback Geno Smith. A person familiar with what happened told the Associated Press 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. Tarvaris Jackson is the only experienced quarterback on the Bills roster after the team released starter Ryan Fitzpatrick last week . . . The Bears agreed to a one-year contract with linebacker D.J. Williams . He missed nine games while serving a pair of NFL-mandated suspensions last season and was released by the Broncos on the eve of free agency . . . According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Atlanta and Osi Umenyiora are working on a deal that could be wrapped up over the weekend . . . The Panthers signed receiver Ted Ginn from the 49ers on a one-year deal . . . St. Louis cornerback Trumaine Johnson was arrested early Friday on a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge in Missoula, Mont. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance in Municipal Court Friday.