Recent evidence suggests Ed Reed likely doesn’t fit Ravens’ future plans

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The emotional roller coaster that is football fandom has essentially been in free-fall since the high of winning Super Bowl XLVII for most Ravens faithful. On the heels of Joe Flacco’s record-breaking contract, most fans were aware that re-signing all of the team’s free-agents wasn’t possible – but they didn’t know it would turn out like this.

Anquan Boldin was traded, Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe are in their new cities swimming in cash, and Bernard Pollard has suddenly found himself unemployed. Saying goodbye is difficult to any significant contributor of a Super Bowl team, but on the heels of the retirement of the greatest linebacker to ever play the game, are Ravens fans prepared to lose one of the greatest safeties ever as well?

Don’t shoot the messenger, but what seems like fiction may soon turn into a fact – it’s unlikely Ed Reed will return to the Ravens.

According to a reliable source close to Russell Street Report, the Ravens’ biggest offseason accomplishment will be to get younger and faster on defense. Given that the Ravens didn’t see fit to overpay for Kruger and Ellerbe and were comfortable to release Pollard, it seems likely that Ozzie and Co. are staying strong to their “right player, right price” motto.

The Ravens allowed three players under the age of 28 to leave the Under Armour Performance Center for good, which doesn’t bode well for Reed, who will turn 35 during the first week of the 2013 regular season.

The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday afternoon that Reed will make his first free agent visit Thursday, to the Houston Texans. Over the weekend, Reed had hired an agent, David Dunn from Athletes First, to represent him. Dunn was originally thought to have been hired to represent Reed and shop him throughout the league before bringing the Ravens a qualifying offer to at least match.

Dunn was no stranger to this situation as he had represented Ray Lewis prior to the 2009 season. Lewis was shopped around the league and drew interest from the Dallas Cowboys before ultimately being re-signed by the Ravens. Considering the changes the Ravens have made within the first two days of free agency, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dunn helps draw Reed an offer he can’t refuse from another team.

Reed’s value on the football field may have diminished but his value inside the Ravens locker room has never been higher. Of the players currently under contract, none have the leadership and mentoring capabilities that Reed posseses. The future clear-cut first-ballot Hall of Fame safety has always been overshadowed by Lewis during his 11-year tenure in Baltimore, and could finally have the chance to call the Ravens defense his own…but only if he stays.

As the Ravens have shown before, in order to retain Reed, they’ll have to agree with his price. The Ravens’ history with Reed – including his brief no-show during mandatory mini-camp last year – hasn’t always been perfect, and his price tag is something that may ultimately keep Reed from leading a team on which he’s spent so many years as second fiddle.

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About Kris Jones

Kris Jones
Kris - or "Goob" as he's widely known - has turned an obsession into a career. As a media member by day and super fan by night, he reports from the Under Armour Performance Center twice per week and brings Ravens news from a fan's perspective. His popular YouTube series...more

9 Raves on “Recent evidence suggests Ed Reed likely doesn’t fit Ravens’ future plans

  1. Bonnie G on said:

    I read, “Ravens free safety Ed Reed is set to visit the Houston Texans on Thursday, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.”

  2. Sauce on said:

    I agree Kris, Reed is a goner and doesn’t fit in with what they are trying to do.

    They had better have a really good draft so that they can at least field a team next year!

  3. billy on said:

    Harbs wants control of the locker room so everyone must leave!!! That’s why Harbs dumped Pollard because he feels he runs his mouth to much … to vocal…. to much of a leader …. and Harbs can’t have that, so he blows up the team , Ozzy goes along with it , and Steve well .. he can still raise prices on tickets, get a bunch of new young cheap players ” KACHANG” , and run up the old bank account. He knows all the Kool Aid drinkers in Baltimore would go see the Ravens play if they didn’t win any games. A win win for him, but you won’t see too many win wins next year in Ravens land or the year after with this bunch. Alabama will have a better defense then the Ravens next year. This destruction is unbelievable!

    • RobAtSGH on said:

      Really? First – when have you known Newsome to “buckle” to any coach?

      Second – Ellerbe and Kruger were good moves. Ellerbe’s an injury magnet, and Kruger’s a 2 down rusher at most.

      Third – I personally liked Pollard. I think it would have been great to have him on the field in purple this year. He hits runners hard. However, with the league contemplating contact rules for running backs similar to receivers, Pollard’s a penalty target. And, while he can blow up a tight end or slot receiver on a sideline route, over the middle in coverage he’s lacking. If Reed walks, they need safeties at both positions who can cover the short passing game as well as chase down run plays.

      And last – Ed Reed. I’d love to see him retire here, but honestly his greatest value is as defensive “quarterback” now that Ray’s ridden off into the sunset. He can’t tackle anymore, and these young hot quarterbacks are starting to throw on him when they have a big receiver to match up who he can’t take down. For every INT Reed had this year, you can probably find at least two missed tackles.

      There’s a lot of time between now and week one of 2013. Players will be cut, players will be signed. By every team.

      • DC55 on said:

        Gotta agree with RobAtGH. Remember this is a defense that struggled severely at times. Highly motivated in the playoffs but still vulnerable by every stat. Reed stopped tackling 2 years ago. He also has been burned trying to anticipate far more than he intercepted. He has been protecting that bad neck by trying to bounce off people rather than tackle them. Hated to lose Anquan but it was a money issue. The D needed to be rebuilt over a year ago. With Haloti , Webb and Suggs healthy next year we can still improve the D.

      • vinnystp on said:

        On top of that, losing Cary Williams doesnt hurt us, it makes us stronger. He was one of the worst Corners in the league, giving up top 5 most first downs in the NFL at his position. He was targetted, because of that. Ladarius Webb will be back next year, with him and Jimmy Smith being a 3rd year corner, we will be fine. Jameel McClain, Ngata, Suggs and Upshaw are good cornerstones to rebuild this defense off of.

        As much as I disliked Anquan leaving, he was a cap casualty. We will get compensatory picks in the draft for losing JJ to San Diego, and Cory Redding to Indy. Maybe Ozzie will use one of those compensatory picks to move up and make a splash, by attempting to solidify the middle with Ogletree. Or he plays it safe and picks up the Honey Badger in the 3rd round. I don’t see his marijuana use in his past as an issue, we had Ricky Williams on our team last year, didn’t we? ;)

  4. RAVENSGATORMAN on said:

    ozzie knows that the defensive needed much improvement and the game passes more then ever,thus is the reason he seeks younger players,sure love reed yet he doesnt fit in todays game anymore with his old age,wish he retire like lewis who knew age got to em,but he wants that extra $$$ that the ravens will not match,everyone freaks out every year at this time but the GENERAL OF DRAFTS ( ozzie ) is the best of finding the gems of each positions—i for one have no problem with the ravens move and totally agree with RobATGH

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