Give that man a contract!

Lombardi's Way Give that man a contract!

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There sure is a lot of noise surrounding Ed Reed these days. The media, with little to write about that doesn’t require some thought, is a sponge for Reed’s off-the-wall sound bites. They feed an audience of fans (hoping for some cheap web traffic) who have now grown quite testy when it comes to the All-World safety. 

Let’s face it, Ed is a different kind of guy. He’s harmless really. He’s engaged in the community and committed to his family. So is it really that big of a deal if Reed isn’t at OTA’s? 

He takes care of his body and reports in outstanding shape. No worries there.

He really doesn’t do all that much at practice anyway, sporting a red jersey most of the time – a clear signal that he can’t be involved in contact. That has been going on for a few years.

Has it made a difference on the field on Sundays?

No!

Has it affected his relationship with his teammates?

No!

As fans we often look at these athletes and accuse them of being out of touch with reality. We say things like, “If he didn’t report to work when told at my company he’d be fired!”

Maybe we just aren’t in touch with their reality!

When September 10 rolls around and Reed is out there at M&T being a menacing presence for Bengals QB Andy Dalton, will any of this matter?

I get that Reed stokes the fires of his critics with his bizarre comments. But does anyone see the team blinking?

Speaking of blinking, Reed has hinted several times that he’s underpaid and is looking for a new deal. Count me among the shocked if that actually happens, particularly when Reed has an inflated sense of value that isn’t kept in check by an agent (he doesn’t have one) who understands the market.

If the Ravens were willing to let Ray Lewis test the free agent market to help set his value don’t you think they’ll do the same with Reed who will be a 35-year-old safety when the 2013 season opens?

In other contract news, Ray Rice has until July 16 to strike a new deal with the Ravens. I don’t see that happening either. Rice’s agent Todd France (who by the way has a solid relationship with the team) wants a Chris Johnson kind of deal for his client. I’m told the Ravens are more than willing to give Rice an Arian Foster or LeSean McCoy deal to Rice but they refuse to emulate a deal that has triggered buyer’s remorse on the part of the Tennesssee Titans.

There’s a reason the team moved up in the third round to select Bernard Pierce. The bet here is that the Ravens will use the tag on Rice not once but twice and then unfortunately say goodbye.

And that leaves Joe Flacco.

There are no indications (at least not public ones) that Flacco, his agent Joe Linta and the Ravens are close on a new deal. And if it is the team’s intent to use the franchise tag on Rice twice, that gives leverage to Flacco’s camp.

Of the two big deals hovering above the team, Flacco’s new deal is more important.

And it’s not even close!

 

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

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