Ed Reed being non-committal about his future is an annual rite of spring here in Baltimore, and he kept the tradition going Thursday by telling Sirius/XM NFL Radio he isn’t 100 percent committed to playing in 2012.
Citing concerns about his health and long-term future, the Pro Bowl free safety told hosts Adam Schein and Rich Gannon that he isn’t sure if he will play this season. He said that he has considered retirement during the past three offseasons -- this one included. It’s also worth noting that Reed is in the final year of his contract.
“It’s still May,” Reed said. “I know that time is kind of inching away at me. We do have a mandatory camp coming up [it’s scheduled for June 12-14] that I’m still in deep thought about because other things are important to me now. I still know I can play at a high level. I can still go for another couple years physically. But other things is kind of taking place in my life right now and making me think about things differently.”
Asked by Sirius/XM if the Ravens knew he wasn’t 100 percent committed, Reed said, “I doubt it. I think they will know after this interview -- just like they knew that Flacco was a little rattled, as we all were against Houston.” That, of course, was a nod to the comments he made last time he was on with Schein and Gannon.
Reed’s comments echoed what he said two months ago when he was inducted into the University of Miami’s Hall of Fame. The quote below is what he told The South Florida Sun Sentinel, one of The Sun’s sister papers.
“There’s a lot of talk out there. I’m not going to say I’m 50-50 because I’m not,” the 33-year-old safety said in late March. “I want to play football, but it’s something me and my team have been discussing the last couple of weeks. My partners, they do a great job of making sure I know the pros and cons of what’s going on with my body and with the organization and where we’re at. I plan on doing it, but depending, it could change.”
He then added, “If it was up to me, I’d be with a walking cane out there. I don’t know, man. I think four to five years is a reality for me.”
A week later, Reed appeared on 105.7 The Fan and said that he felt disrespected by the Ravens and questioned their loyalty to him. He said he was open to discussing a contract extension to "help the team,” mentioned the five-year, $96 million deal the Denver Broncos gave quarterback Peyton Manning this spring, and suggested that while safeties aren’t valued as highly as other positions, the Ravens should make an exception with him.
“I plan on playing. Everybody in the world knows that plans tend to change,” said Reed, who will make $7.2 million if he plays this season. “I’ve got some unfinished business. I got a lot on my mind I’ve been thinking about and the truth of the matter is that it’s about respect. It’s about getting respect and it’s a business.”
Last Friday, Reed took batting practice at Camden Yards and threw out the ceremonial first pitch at an Orioles game. He was asked he planned to meet with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome when he was in town.
"No, not meeting with Ozzie. I don’t even think Ozzie is taking my calls right now,” Reed said with a laugh.
On Thursday, Reed talked at length about his relationship with Newsome and the Ravens, mentioning a lack of support and “mental” issues that they were going through, but claimed that it had little to do with his contract.
“It has nothing to do with negotiating and all that, man,” Reed insisted. “It’s deeper than negotiating, man.”
Assuming Reed plays in 2012 -- and team officials expect him to -- his contract status will be a major subplot. The Ravens would like to see him retire in Baltimore, but can they come up with a fair deal that is enough to make Reed feel respected? The guy plays his heart out, but the drama continues on in the safety’s soap opera.
But hey, what fun would the offseason be without a little Ed Reed drama?Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times