Thursday, January 17, 2013
Reed a Patriot in 2013?
By Tim Kavanagh
Though the Baltimore Ravens are primarily focused on the AFC championship game on Sunday against the New England Patriots, they do have some impending player personnel issues with which to deal this upcoming offseason. Namely, two of their key players -- QB Joe Flacco and S Ed Reed -- have expiring contracts. It's thought that while the Ravens made some headway with Flacco last offseason, they'll have to start somewhat fresh this time around (especially if the Ravens win the Super Bowl in a couple weeks). As for Reed, his situation is wide open.
At this point, everything's on the table for Reed: retirement, re-signing with Baltimore or hitting the free agent market. Though it seems heretical to say, New England makes a fine destination for him, should he hit free agency, in the opinion of ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley. The two primary reasons for this are the fact that the Pats need a player of Reed's ilk on the back-end of their defense, and New England HC Bill Belichick has always been quite complimentary of Reed in public remarks.
"He just does things that nobody else at that position does or I don't know if they've ever done it. He's special," Belichick beamed this week. "He's really special."
The Ravens do have the use of the franchise tag, but only on one player. And if things aren't progressing well with Flacco by the tag deadline, he's the one who'll be tagged; there's no way they'd allow him to hit the open market. Here's Hensley with more on this speculative possibility:
Jamison HensleyCould Reed end up with the Pats next season?
"Coming from Reed's vantage point, I can only see him going to a team with championship aspirations. Reed, who turns 35 at the start of the 2013 season, doesn't want to end his career on a rebuilding team. So, if Reed comes available, I would expect Belichick to personally make the call to Reed. Of course, this is assuming that Reed will be available in March. While I don't see the Ravens investing a long-term deal in Reed, the team could put the franchise tag on him if it can get a long-term deal reached with quarterback Joe Flacco. On Sunday, Reed is looking for his first trip to the Super Bowl when the Ravens play at New England. But his destination this offseason will also be a major storyline."