The future Hall of Famer has too much left in the tank and too many people, most notably Ray Lewis, counting on him as the Ravens look to make another push for the Super Bowl.
However, yesterday, the ball-hawking safety told SiriusXM radio that he's "not 100 percent committed" to playing in 2012—a stirring of the pot, if you will.
Then, he took a step backwards, telling the Carroll County Times, "It's not about retirement, it's about my focus in the offseason, health, family and football. This is the time of year where players think through things. My goal is to play football in the years to come."
Reed is slated to make $7.2 million this year, the final year of a six-year contract he signed in 2006, but he maintains his lack of commitment is "deeper than negotiating."
The 33-year-old is entering the 11th season of his NFL career and, like most veterans his age, is tiring of the hustle of offseason workouts and training camps.
This is nothing, and we've seen it plenty of times before.
In some respects, there really is no offseason for these players. Seasons, end in January at the earliest, and workouts are alive by March. Organized team activities begin and rookies arrive in April, and by May, there are mandatory minicamps. Come late July, training camp is in full swing, and for the next six months, the players are on the field every week.
Brett Favre and Michael Strahan are two notable players who've shown a lack of commitment to the offseason in recent years, and they both still found success. And, like Reed, they're both future Hall of Famers.
Dating back to high school and college, Reed has done nothing but play football for approximately the last 20 years of his life, nonstop. That takes a toll, and when it is May 18 and the season is still three to four months away, older players are thinking of other things other than just football.
Reed even said himself, "It’s still May. I know time is kind of inching away at me. We do have a mandatory camp coming up that I’m still in deep thought about, because other things are important to me now."
Now as in May 18, not August or September.
Reed will be on the field in 2012, and he'll be the same player he's always been, whether he attends a mandatory minicamp or not.