Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed made headlines this week when he said he could "definitely" play for the New England Patriots next season. Reed will become an unrestricted free agent in March and should be a hot commodity on the open market.

Here are some thoughts on this topic from New England's perspective:

For starters, this is great news for the Patriots. It's no secret New England has a huge need at safety to fix its 29th-ranked pass defense. And Reed, a future Hall of Famer, is the biggest name and best safety on the market. It's also no secret from numerous interviews that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a lot of respect for Reed's skills, smarts and work ethic. The Patriots cannot say anything publicly about Reed until March when he becomes a free agent to avoid tampering. But Reed's candor at the Super Bowl this week at least tells the Patriots' brass that they have a great shot at landing the safety.

Reed would make his biggest impact in New England by preventing "chunk" passing plays. That is the Patriots' biggest weakness on defense. New England allowed an NFL-high 74 passing plays of 20 yards or more. Those are the kind of passing plays that would be in Reed's wheelhouse. Reed is at his best playing deep centerfield and reading the quarterback's eyes. His presence would instill fear in opponents trying to test the Patriots deep.