Baltimore Ravens Must Find Way to Persuade Ed Reed to Play in 2012

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - JANUARY 15:  Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens takes off his helmet during a timeout during second quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans at M&T Bank Stadium on January 15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens have heard this song and seen this dance from Ed Reed before.

The 10-year NFL veteran has a tendency to stir things up from time to time, as Jason La Canfora of NFL.com points out. The star safety reportedly told SiriusXM today that he isn't committed to playing this year, via Nick Kostos:

Ed Reed just admitted on the #SiriusXM Blitz that he's not 100% committed to playing football for the #Ravens in 2012.

— Nick Kostos (@TheKostos) May 17, 2012

Again, this is nothing new and NFL Network's Albert Breer reports:

Before anyone panics too much about Ed Reed's comments, there's a sentiment out there that a big part of this is his desire for a new deal.

— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) May 17, 2012

Reed is in the final year of a six-year deal he signed back in 2006. He's scheduled to make $7.2 million before entering free agency next winter at the age of 34.

Obviously, Reed doesn't want to do that.

The Ravens, meanwhile, cannot afford to tick off one of the top defensive players, especially since they'll be without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs.

This team is still in a "win now" mode, and it cannot afford to go into the year without one of its key components—at least not when its ill-prepared to handle his potential absence.

Baltimore is probably in the final year of the Ray Lewis-Ed Reed era.

Lewis is signed through the 2016 season, but most people believe this will be the 37-year old's final year in the league.

If Lewis and the rest of the Ravens want to make the most of this year, they need to make sure Ed Reed is fully committed to playing.