The 15-year veteran of four Super Bowls let his feelings boil over again this week, this time on his Internet site. His journal on Tuesday was a stream of disappointment. His feelings came only two days after he had moved into second place on the NFL list of career receptions with 945, behind only Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers.
"It wasn't just a happy moment for me, but also frustration," Reed wrote. "The five balls that I did catch weren't even routes, and that just makes me look bad, like they have to give me charity throws. They've just been throwing me bones to keep me happy, but I'm not happy at all.
"I think the franchise realizes that, and they know that I don't want to be here anymore. You look at the game Monday night with Jerry (Rice) in San Francisco. The 49ers still respect Jerry, and whether it was his last game in that uniform or not, I think he went out the way he wanted.
"Here, they haven't given me that freedom and respect. I'm sure San Francisco wouldn't do that to Jerry Rice. It'll be a chip on my shoulder for a long time. I think I can start fresh somewhere else and offer a team something next year and hopefully go out the way I want."
Reed also passed former Seattle star Steve Largent for fourth place on the NFL's yards receiving list with 13,095. Coach Wade Phillips said afterward that getting Reed the record was one of the goals, but that did little to placate the veteran star.
"People around here think that I'm retiring, and that Sunday was my last game, but it wasn't!" Reed wrote. "At this point I just want to go where I'm appreciated and respected and I haven't had that here."
Reed also said he hopes the Bills give him his unconditional release after the playoffs, and thinks they will.
"It's obvious I'm not in their future plans, and I can't subject my family or myself to that anymore," he wrote. "It's time for me to move on. I'll be happier. I was not a happy player this year; it was miserable going to work every day."
Reed finished the season with 52 catches for 536 yards and only one touchdown. His longest reception was 30 yards. With the emergence of Eric Moulds, who led the team with 65 catches for 994 yards and seven touchdowns, and the promise of rookie Peerless Price (31 catches for 393 yards and three TDs), Reed's frustration at playing a minor role now is understandable, even if he is nearing the end of his brilliant career.
But with at least one more game to play this season Saturday at Tennessee Reed still planned on playing a prominent role, even if it isn't running routes and catching important passes.
"Hopefully, we're on a winning note next week!" he wrote. "It's a 12-team tournament now. I think a lot of the young guys will be looking to Thurman (Thomas), Bruce (Smith) and myself (for leadership), and I'm glad I can be looked to in that regard."
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