Ed Reed: 2012 Could Be Pro Bowl Safety's Last Year as a Baltimore Raven
Ed Reed isn't happy.
After the news of teammate Lardarius Webb's sizable contract extension, Reed felt compelled to express his discontent to various media outlets. He even went as far as to say that he felt "disrespected."
In an interview with Baltimore's 105.7 The Fan, Reed had this to say on the subject (via ESPN):
“Honestly, I got to take a look at myself from the outside in. For what I offer on the football field, for what I give on the football field, and for what they know they’re going to get, it’s much more than these young guys out here today and what they’re getting. And I’m talking about at any defensive back position right now."
Whether Reed is referring to Webb's new contract or not, it is more than clear that he wants another long-term deal. At almost 34 years old and with ongoing various injuries, it's hard to imagine Ozzie Newsome and company ponying up the cash that Reed would demand.
However, Reed is set to make around $7 million next season, the last year of his current contract, which hardly seems "disrespectful."
Despite his threats to retire should he not get an extension, it would be hard to imagine him passing up that kind of money and what could be his last legitimate chance at a Super Bowl ring.
Do you think Ed Reed would sign with another team should he hit free agency in 2013?
Then there's the Ray Lewis factor. It's very unlikely that Lewis won't be persistent in convincing his fellow defensive leader to return to at least finish out his contract.
Lewis has been in a similar situation himself when the Ravens allowed him to test the market a few years ago. The aging linebacker obviously returned to Baltimore and remained productive at a price that worked out for both sides.
There's no reason that the same can't happen for Ed Reed next offseason should he want to continue playing. The Ravens could always let him test the waters next year and offer him a similar contract if they see it as a viable option.
However, there's no doubting that the NFL is a passing league, and safeties like Reed are hard to come by, no matter how old they are. If Reed were to hit the open market in 2013, pending his health status, there's no doubt that he would have at least a few suitors.
Then there's Reed's seemingly endless flirtation with retirement. Injury has usually been the catalyst of this in the past, but if the Ravens were to win a Super Bowl next season, would Ed Reed (and Ray Lewis for that matter) set off into the sunset? That's a very real possibility.
For all the speculation, threats, and hurt feelings, there's no doubt that Reed needs the Ravens as badly as the Ravens need Reed.
At safety, the team is looking especially thin right now, so it would seem Reed would have some leverage. But in the end, the 10-year veteran isn't going to do anything to jeopardize another shot at a Super Bowl and leave $7 million dollars on the table.
Expect the Ravens to look for a future replacement for Reed in this year's NFL Draft, despite a weak safety class.
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