Odds on Where Ed Reed Will Land in 2013

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystFebruary 4, 2013

Odds on Where Ed Reed Will Land in 2013

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    Now that the Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl XLVII champions, the team's attention must turn from celebrating their big victory to figuring out how to defend it.

    One of the first decisions the team is going to have to face is the future of safety Ed Reed, who is set to hit free agency after 11 seasons in Baltimore.

    According to Sports Illustrated, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has indicated that he wants Reed back, but Baltimore won't be the only team that tries to make a pitch for Reed.

    Here's a look at some of the teams that will be picking up the phone, as well as the odds that Reed will answer.

Denver Broncos

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    If Reed were to leave Baltimore, it's all but certain that he'd want to sign with another contender, which limits the number of potential suitors.

    However, that doesn't mean that there aren't teams out there that fit the bill, including one of the squads the Ravens beat on their trip to the Super Bowl.

    After watching safety Rahim Moore give up the game-tying touchdown to wide receiver Jacoby Jones in the Denver Broncos' playoff loss to Baltimore, it's not hard to imagine the Broncos wanting an upgrade at the position.

    The Broncos have a fair amount of cap space, but they also have free agents of their own to sign (including left tackle Ryan Clady). It may be difficult to make the numbers work even if they are interested.

    Odds of Signing Reed: 5 percent

Chicago Bears

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    The Chicago Bears are a team in transition. Despite winning 10 games in 2012, the team missed the playoffs and parted ways with head coach Lovie Smith.

    The Bears are also looking at a defense that isn't getting any younger.

    With players such as linebackers Brian Urlacher (a free agent himself) and Lance Briggs on the wrong side of 30, it's doubtful that the Bears would want to add another aging veteran.

    With that said, the Bears could also stand to improve the back end of the secondary, and they might take the risk thinking they're one player away from Super Bowl contention.

    Odds of Signing Reed: 5 percent

Dallas Cowboys

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    The Dallas Cowboys have missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons, a situation that doesn't sit well with team owner Jerry Jones.

    The team is making the switch to the 4-3 defense under new coordinator Monte Kiffin, and a veteran as savvy as Reed would be a welcomed addition to the back of the Dallas defense.

    Jones has also never been shy about adding older players, but there's one major snag to Reed landing in Big D.

    Money.

    The Cowboys salary cap situation is precarious, and while teams always manage to find some wiggle room, it's doubtful that Dallas could find enough to convince Reed to play in Texas.

    Odds of Signing Reed: 5 percent

Cincinnati Bengals

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    The Cincinnati Bengals have advanced to the playoffs in each of the past two years, but they are still searching for their first postseason win in over 20 years.

    The Bengals have a number of free agents of their own to sign, including defensive end Michael Johnson.

    However, the team also has a boatload of cap space, and general manager Mike Brown should be able to afford to add a piece or two if he chooses.

    The addition of Reed would bolster the secondary and allow Reggie Nelson to move to strong safety full time, but it's pretty hard to imagine Reed playing for an AFC North rival.

    Odds of Signing Reed: 10 percent

New Orleans Saints

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    This is the point in the article where each of the following teams has been linked to Ed Reed in one manner or another.

    As Pat Yasinskas of ESPN reports, former New Orleans quarterback Bobby Hebert broached the subject of the Saints pursuing Reed on his radio show last week.

    Granted, the Saints can use all the help they can get defensively, and as a Louisiana native, Reed might be interested in closing out his career closer to home.

    Also, the Saints' starting safeties Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins graded out as the two worst players in the NFL at their position in 2012, according to Pro Football Focus.

    However, much like the Cowboys, a bad salary cap situation makes a return "home" for Reed unlikely.

    Odds of Signing Reed: 10 percent

New England Patriots

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    The idea of Ed Reed playing for the New England Patriots turns the stomachs of Ravens fans, but it was Reed who opened this can of worms.

    Reed created something of a firestorm leading up to the Super Bowl by stating he "could definitely play for coach Belichick." But Reed later backed off those comments, according to Greg Bedard of The Boston Globe via NFL.com.

    Would I play for Coach Belichick? Yes. What football player wouldn't? Will I be in New England? Most likely not. It's just terrible that people get half the story. But it comes with it.

    Reed to the Patriots remains a possibility, but not a very good one.

    Odds of Signing Reed: 15 percent

Indianapolis Colts

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    If Reed's not in Baltimore in 2013, then the smart money has him playing for the team that the Ravens defeated in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs.

    The Indianapolis Colts badly need an upgrade at the safety position, and head coach Chuck Pagano has a long relationship with Reed from their time together in Baltimore.

    This is a rumor that has picked up some steam of late, as according to Rotoworld, the NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported on Sunday that "a lot of people believe" that Reed will sign with the Colts in the offseason.

    Odds of Signing Reed: 20 percent

Baltimore Ravens

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    However, as is often the case, the most likely landing spot for Reed is the one he's already in.

    Granted, Peter King of Sports Illustrated may believe that Reed has played his last game for the Ravens, but that flies in the face of what head coach John Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference, according to Luke Hughes of NESN.

    “I want him back, he wants to come back,” Harbaugh said. “Ed’s a Baltimore Raven.”

    With quarterback Joe Flacco set to receive a monster payday, it may take some effort to work out the numbers, but the Ravens should be able to figure out a way to keep Reed in the fold.


    Odds of Signing Reed: 30 percent