Today many Baltimore Ravens and Ed Reed fans were finally able to feel a sense of relief. This is because Reed has ended his talk of holding out and has reported to Ravens training camp, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.
Amazingly, he's arrived with exactly zero missed days of training camp. Wednesday is the first official day of training camp, meaning that for all Reed's previous hints about possibly holding out, nothing has come of it. All that Reed's missed has been the team's mandatory minicamp last month and offseason OTA's.
While Reed still doesn't have the contract extension that he wanted, there's still time for a deal to be worked out. The Ravens, meanwhile, get their All-Pro safety back and avoid the uncomfortable notion of him missing games. It's a situation where both parties involved win.
Now that Reed is back with the team, he's got some damage control to do. His statements this offseason have only caused him to appear disgruntled, selfish and even a little delusional. And considering that his 2011 stats were among the worst of his career, Reed needs to prove he can still play at a high level.
To be fair, this is not the first time Reed has confused the media. Most of what he says to them about his future and retirement can seem to be purposefully vague. This retirement thing has been a concern for the Ravens in several past offseasons.
Ravens fans can accept it as Reed simply being Reed. As unpredictable as he is at the safety position, he is perhaps doubly so off the field. Add in a twitter account with over 35,400 followers and the fact that he doesn't have an agent, then you can find it easy to see why he's so free in what he chooses to say to the media.
For now we can say that since he's at training camp, Reed has gotten the last laugh over the media. By continuing to behave erratically and yet still show up when it's playing time, Reed has proven that his off-field behavior is better not to over-think. We should judge him by what he does on the field instead.
There will be plenty of time for the Ravens to think about Reed's looming free agency next season. Hopefully, Reed will use to this motivation and turn in another great season that helps the Ravens see how invaluable he can be.
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