Ed Reed still has at least one game remaining in his career with the Baltimore Ravens, but it seems he has already given some thought to his destination for the 2013 season. According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the legendary safety said Wednesday that he could see himself playing for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots next year:
Yeah, oh yeah, man, I could definitely play for coach Belichick. He is a great coach. I'm sure he can help me to expand my football knowledge even more as a player and as a coach, so if I'm ever able to be around him, just like I was at the Pro Bowl, it's huge.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King (h/t Pro Football Talk) said during last week's Pro Bowl that the 34-year-old safety will likely test the free-agent market in March.
With Ray Lewis' impending retirement and much of the Ravens' core defensive players advancing in age, not re-signing Reed could be a sign of impending turnover for the roster. But it also should be noted that Lewis once hit the free-agent market himself, only to return to the only franchise he has ever known.
Will Ed Reed return to the Baltimore Ravens in 2013?
If the Ravens do allow Reed to walk, the Patriots are a likely suitor. The relationship between Reed and Belichick has long been one of mutual respect, with the Patriots coach saying in 2012 that he has never coached "against anyone better in the secondary" than Reed.
New England also has some notable deficiencies in the secondary that will need to be patched up, particularly at safety. Devin McCourty did a fine job after switching over from cornerback to strong safety in 2012, but Belichick would certainly like to replace Steve Gregory at the free spot.
If Reed comes at the right price (likely extremely cheap, knowing how the Patriots do things), he could make a jump to Baltimore's longtime rival.
Either way, something tells me Reed is far more concerned with the San Francisco 49ers than Belichick and the Patriots at the moment.