There are players that are one team players, they are the lucky few who sign and stay. But that is not the NFL, and new Gold Coast Kings wide receiver can attest better than most, after signing with four teams in the NFL, the CFL and two AFL teams in the space of a few years.
Before we get to that though, lets look at why Reed, playing out of top ranked college the Florida State Seminoles garnered so much interest from NFL franchises.
Bert Reed, Florida State University
The Florida State Seminoles football team represents Florida State University (variously Florida State or FSU) in the sport of American football. The Florida State Seminoles compete in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The team is known for its storied history, distinctive helmet, fight song and colors as well as the many traditions associated with the school.
Bert Reed is lightning quick wide receiver who models his games on distinguished NFL players like Steve Smith, DeSean Jacks and Percy Harvin.
Reed is one of only 12 receivers to ever break the 2000 receiving yards mark in the history of the Seminoles, finishing his college career with 2022 yards from 170 receptions. That ranks him fourth all-time in FSU history.
With a very quick 4.36 40 yard dash time to his name, Reed was used in a variety of ways at Florida State.
A look through tape on Reed shows a likeness to use Reed in short passing and sweep moves where he could use his speed to make low risk, big gain types of plays.
Asked in 2014 by arenafootball.com about his style of play in college, the explosiveness you see in his tape is clearly something he prides his game on.
I’ve always been an explosive guy. Coach [Jimbo] Fisher, my offensive coordinator, always got me the ball quickly. So, I think doing that in the arena – getting me the ball quickly – will be successful and can help us get to where we want to be, as far as making the championship.
Read played alongside, and against, many current NFL player playing at a school still ranked in the top 10 for NCAA Division 1 schools last season.
Reed describes one occasion when playing alongside now New York Giants receiver Preston Parker against a North Carolina State team led by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to arenafootball.com.
We were playing against Russell Wilson, who played for NC State at the time. My friend, Preston Parker, who now plays for the New York Giants, let me switch positions with him to catch a bubble screen pass. I made two defenders miss [tackles] and got into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. My teammates were unselfish and it showed me that you can still be successful and be unselfish.
NFL musical chairs
Coming into the 2012 draft, Reed was projected as a late round pick or a sure-fire pick as priority free agent.
Free agency was where he ended up, being signed by the Cleveland Browns after the draft.
Staying with the Browns through the pre-season, and played the first three pre-season games for the Browns, Reed finished those games with 62 receiving yards on five receptions.
Reed was released in the final cuts before the season began despite leading the pre-season in receiving yards for the team.
It didn’t take long for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign him to their practice squad, but within a month, Reed had been released and headed to the Denver Broncos.
His time was short-lived again, moving to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad where he finished the year on the scout team and returned for the first half of the off-season program the following year.
Reed was released under a substance abuse cloud after being suspended for the first four games of the 2014 regular season, and didn’t return to the NFL.
Free agent wide receiver Bert Reed suspended by NFL for first four games of regular season
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) July 17, 2013
From the NFL to AFL, to CFL, and back again
Growing up watching Arena Football, Reed signed with the Jacksonville Sharks in the Arena Football League (AFL) but never hit the field, instead moving to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Reeds final stop in a whirlwind footballing tour was back to the AFL, being picked up by the Las Vegas Outlaws in the 2014 Expansion Draft, before now heading down-under to compete for a starting spot with the Gold Coast Kings.
What can he bring to the Kings?
There is no doubting Reeds talent. A look at any of his tape show a player with very good hands and the ability to take plays to the house.
A smaller receiver, he is not one to run over players, but Reed can make multiple players miss and clearly has dynamic speed to extend plays. Whether the Kings spread the offense to allow the short passing plays used in college will be something to watch.
The question now is can the Kings keep Reed on the field and in the league. Head coach Bill Stafford would no doubt have done his homework on the reasons for Reeds constant team movements.
If that is sorted, the Kings can look forward to some big plays from a dynamic receiver.