The truth about Ed Reed

Reed Back

Since he signed with the Houston Texans, many have been upset with Ed Reed’s decision to extend his football career elsewhere prior to calling it quits on his Hall of Fame career.

Conventional thought was that the Ravens were handling Reed’s situation as they did in 2009 with Ray Lewis, where Reed would shop the market to establish his value before the Ravens ultimately matched any deal he was offered. While that thought gave Ravens fans hope, I had already let the idea of Reed returning to Baltimore become an afterthought. Based on a conversation with a source close to Russell Street Report, the primary goal on the Ravens defense was to get younger and faster – Reed was neither of those things.

The three-year, $15 million offer from Houston was likely the only offer Reed even received during his time in free agency limbo. Given the pattern of the personnel decisions by the Ravens this offseason, seeing many of the main figures walk out of the Under Armour Performance Center – either voluntarily or involuntarily – Reed fit into the formula created by coach John Harbaugh. Bringing him back would undermine the rest of the “vocal member of the locker room” clearinghouse.

Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun even had the guts to write that, “John Harbaugh wanted Reed back as much as he wanted a root canal.” That’s a phrase most of Baltimore doesn’t want to believe, but I think it’s 100% true.

After Reed officially signed with Houston, I spoke with a source close to Reed who said the future Hall of Fame safety was “devastated” that he wasn’t returning to Baltimore. For someone to be devastated that they can’t return to the place they’d been employed the past 11 years, chances are Reed already knew he wasn’t welcome back in the Castle. Because of that, he likely shifted his focus and utilized the Ravens to increase his asking price from the Texans – not the other way around as most initially thought.

Reed will always be a legend in Baltimore and it’ll be hard to see him play elsewhere to finish his career. The Ravens’ decision was primarily business with a side order of control from Harbaugh. Inside 1 Winning Drive, there may be players with larger bank accounts, but as head coach Bill Belichick is to the New England Patriots, Harbaugh is becoming to the Ravens.

Considering the motivational signs that flood the Ravens practice facility, it wouldn’t surprise me if a “Check egos at the door” sign isn’t hanging above the Ravens locker room entrance this season.

This is the John Harbaugh show now, and Mike Preston was right this time.

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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

21 Raves on “The truth about Ed Reed

  1. Jerry M on said:

    I love Ed Reed He will always be a Raven in my eyes. But Harbaugh did the right thing by letting him go I mean his game play has deminished very much compared to how he use to play some may argue that Reeds worst is better than most best. But the fact is he can’t tackle anymore and his speed is gone and one more big hit and that shoulder is done. So Harbaugh made the right move in my opinion. YOUNG, STRONG & HUNGRY

  2. seatraveller on said:

    Getting rid of players Harbaugh is scared to manage is hurting the team. These strong willed players were the teams heart. Boldin was especially bad. Reed hurt. Its coming on the offensive line. If we have McKinnie at LT Joe is a 120 million$ quarterback. If Oher is the LT Joe is a 30 million$ quarterback. I’m afraid we’ll have the 30 million$ quarteback because Harbaugh wants McKinnie gone.

    • g money on said:

      scared to manage? thats funny. Reed will be 35 at the start of the season, and Pollard is a liability in coverage. The Boldin move sucked, but it makes sense. He’ll be 33 at the beginning of this season, we need a younger solution to compete into the future. We’ll see how bad these moves hurt the team next season.

    • Big Perm on said:

      First of all, we are working on getting young and fast. both of which we were not last season. You think Harbaugh is “scared to manage” those guys? I definitely got a laugh out of that. I know one thing, i’d be scared to show my identity if i left a comment like that. You want a bunch of old slow players on defense so we can get worn out in the fourth quarter again like last season? As for McKinnie, that guy can’t last an entire season. I personally don’t want him back. I’ll be looking for your comments when the Ravens are in contention again next season.

      • g money on said:

        bmac does suck. big perm you are right on. i hope we dont sign him for more than 1 year and draft a replacement. but ozzie has that taken care of. trust me, ozzie knows that oher isn’t the solution at LT. the idea that bmac didnt play last year because he was in the “doghouse” is absurd. he was fat and out of shape as well as unmotivated. if he was ready to play, he would have played. so glad ozzie is our GM and not some of our fans.

  3. Joe on said:

    I think Pollard and Reed moves went hand in hand. Two great players who don’t play as well as they once did, and we’re in the middle of cooking up the next great defense for our future. I think if Ed Reed had walked in here and said “I’ll take 6 mil over 3 years”, Ozzie would’ve done that deal in a heartbeat and John would’ve gone along with it. Maybe not 100%, but he wouldn’t have mutinied.

    This has been Harbaugh’s team for awhile really. He put his imprint on this team long ago with the CMac move, the doghouse stuff, and rearranging the lockers.

  4. Fran the Fan on said:

    Mike Florio of Profootball Talk.com has been saying for weeks now that the Ravens, in spite of the verbal pablum coming from One Winning Drive, really did not want Reed to return. Looks like he was right. I’m no fan of Mike Preston and his snippy columns, but he was right on the money when said that the Ravens wouldn’t really be Harbaugh’s team until Lewis and Reed permanently left the building.

    Your turn, Harbs.

    • Boldin Raver on said:

      “Looks like he was right.” Why? Because he writes for a gossip site?!!! Florio has been selling copy with his un-sourced fiction in the hopes that people like Fran the Fan and other sewing circles members will get into a lather over his gossip. Do an Internet search of “Ravens.” Florio wins! “Looks like” you’ve been reeled into the “Harbaugh the Insecure lusting for control” narrative. Most of the smart people on these sites have been more attentive to the fact that Reed, while he brought great memories, is slow and stopped tackling. Ray (may he retire in paradise) and Hank could play against the run but became liabilities in coverage. “Looks MORE like” coach was able to act like a grownup and make sound football decisions that would give him the best hope of not being fired for being a loser in a tough football league. I bet if the Ravens were losing with our favorite old timers – Ray, Ed and Hank – you’d be cheering them on for “sticking it to the man” and keeping the old regime alive. NOT!!!

      • Fran the Fan on said:

        Boldin Raver,

        Florio was right because as, it turns out, the Ravens DIDN’T WANT HIM BACK. If you’ve paid any attention to what I’ve written on this web site since the end of season you’d know I’ve had my doubts about Reed because he can’t or won’t tackle anymore, and he leaves his CBs hung out to dry, and all he’s looking for is another big payday because with Reed, money = respect and respect = money.

        My mantra for Reed was the same as Ozzie’s….right player, right price and he’s not that anymore.

  5. Michael on said:

    you title the article the truth about Ed Reed but only give the thoughts written by Mike Preston no real facts and no real truth….very badly wriiten

  6. jai on said:

    The reason Eddie is gone… ever notice how watching the game you keep knowing he’s gonna pick a certain ball off and he aaaaaalmost does, just a quarter step late, and you’re like “damn, he was gonna take that to the house”? Exactly. All it takes is that quarter step lost to go from GOAT to average. Eddie, love him, was average last season. and, below acceptable as a tackler to the point where The Ravens were playing 10 on 11 on run plays.

  7. Raylean Allen on said:

    An opinion is just that, and opinion. Fact: Reed wanted more money he got it. He is an awesome player and played well during his time in Baltimore. He helped win the Superbowl. Hopefully he will continue to be an excellent player with the Texans. I wish he could have retired a Raven. He will be missed by me. Can’t wait until football season to start. It is going to be a long summer. I hope everything fall into place for the Ravens this year.

  8. Krix17 on said:

    As a Fan eye went into absolute “Panic Mode” at the beginning of the Free Agency week. The Exodus brought knots 2 my stomach. But, as the process evolved, it became interesting to watch (instead of looking away as eye wanted to) how Ozzie & Co. have positioned the Ravens Team. Yes, there is much more 2 come in this story, but don’t B surprised when The Ravens start this season–right outta the gate & onto another SB. I think Ozzie has more confidence in our Back-up Roster than most of us. That’s what we pay the Man 4. And, what do eye know, I’m justa FAN!

  9. Chris on said:

    I love Ed. I know Harbs wanted him gone. I never was upset at him when he signed with the Texans. I felt bad for him. I know deep down he wanted to finish out with the team he started with. But why should he retire when there’s still some football left in him?

    The only solace I get is that even if Harbs wanted him gone, he’ll be back to retire as a Raven. The Ravens are bigger than Harbaugh or any one man –even Ray as we see the team moving on from him– and that can’t be taken away. I say good luck to Ed.

  10. HollywoodHeiz on said:

    All this talk about Harbs wanting this guy and that guy gone, has me asking one question. What took him so long to get rid of Cam?

  11. Ravenwoman on said:

    Comparing how the Ravens handled Ray Lewis’s last contract with how the Ravens handled Ed Reed’s contract is like comparing apples and oranges. Ray Lewis was in much better health and a year or two younger the last time he resigned with the Ravens. He was playing at a high level and we didn’t have the salary cap issues with a QB potentially taking up to 15% of future cap space. Different times and different Raven teams. The Ravens are evolving into a different business model and there isn’t the sentiment in retaining players long term anymore. The future Ravens will have few high paid players and most will be low to moderate salaried players, similar to the New England model; a team that competes just about every year for the playoffs. Most positions will be addressed through the draft and through free agency players who are on the right side of 30 and who don’t break the bank. Not bringing Ed Reed back had more to do with age, physical condition and his inability to tackle more than any “locker room” incident. No organization in their right mind would allow a future HOF player to walk if he were young and playing at a super high level. The Ravens have a blueprint for the future and they are staying with it. Fans may not like it initially, but they will like it when we field a competitive team each and every year.

  12. Anonymous on said:

    Harbaugh may be in the position to take over the team now but, the first 4 or 5 years he needed guys like Ray, Ed, Pollard, and JJ to name a few. He leaned on those guys to help him keep the locker room in check, or to set a standard for practice intensity or workout and film study sessions. Those guys made his job a lot easier, all he had to do is manage the team, those guys set the standard. I mean we are talking about 2 legends, not just super stars Ed and Ray are the best of all time at their positions. I think Harbaugh is a good coach but thos guys made his job easier. Pollard and Ed should be able to sit and talk to him about the buzz in the locker room, or whether the team should go full pads or not, or if the teams legs are tired or not. That why thy Ravens were successful because he allowed that. You thing Belichick doesnt listen to Brady’s concerns, or Fox doesnt listen to Peyton’s concerns. I think the Pollard and Reed issue is way overblown, its all about the right player at the right price period!

  13. Anonymous on said:

    I understand the arguments about his play, and there may or may not be any truth to the taming of the locker room narratives, but I wonder, if Reed feels devastated, if we really didn’t offer him money, have we estranged him enough that he wouldn’t come back and coach for the Ravens one day?

  14. Anonymous on said:

    I totally get the arguments about Reed’s play as of late, and there may or may not be truth to the cleaning house narrative, but I have to wonder, if we really didn’t offer him anything, if he is really devastated by our indifference, would he no longer consider coming back to coach in Baltimore? That would be a devastating loss for us in the future.

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