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Ed Reed has leverage, and there’s nothing wrong with using it

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Ravens safety Ed Reed has shown some Favrian tendencies over the past few years, musing about retiring and then continuing to play.

This year, Reed initially said he would be back.  But then indicated emerged he’d like a new contract.  And then, after linebacker Terrell Suggs suffered a partially torn Achilles tendon, Reed became coy about playing in 2012.  Then, once his words created a major stir, Reed backtracked and recommitted to playing.

So what’s going on?  Reed surely still wants that new contract, and Reed seems to realize that, with Suggs injured, Reed suddenly has the leverage to make it happen — but only if he makes the Ravens think he’s serious about walking away.

The problem is that, like many other players, he loves the game and he can’t pretend he would retire when he knows in his heart that he won’t.

Don’t be surprised if the musings about possibly retiring continue, despite what Reed has most recently said.  As explained on Friday’s PFT Live, the billionaires who own NFL teams didn’t become billionaires by not making shrewd business decisions.  For Reed, it would be very shrewd — and justified — to make the Ravens sweat about the possibility of having neither Suggs nor Reed in 2012.

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22 Responses to “Ed Reed has leverage, and there’s nothing wrong with using it”
  1. camdenyard says: May 19, 2012 9:01 AM

    Ed is like North Korea. All threats, and not many of them make sense.

  2. str8up12 says: May 19, 2012 9:06 AM

    Actually, off the top of my head, I can come up with four billionaire owners who came to be billionaires simply by being born. Nothing wrong with that. Just doesn’t make you a shrewd businessman.

  3. jluns275 says: May 19, 2012 9:38 AM

    Best safety in the league.
    Pay the man.

  4. deathtoromo says: May 19, 2012 9:42 AM

    If he doesn’t get his contract, Ray Lewis will shank Harbaugh in the shower.

  5. whacko4flacco says: May 19, 2012 9:47 AM

    Let me preface this with I am a huge Ed Reed fan. However, Ed does not have leverage here. The Ravens (Newsome, Harbaugh, Decosta, Biscotti, et al) have been prepared for life after Ed Reed for the past 3 years because he’s been playing this tired offseason nonsense for that long. The Ravens are NOT giving Reed a new contract. They may consider it after his current deal is up, but there is no way they are extending or renegotiating the current deal, mainly because of these antics as well as the fact that Ed (understandably) doesn’t tackle anymore and looks like he’s not going to get up every time he’s tackled after making an INT. Again, I’m a huge Ed Reed fan, but I’m a Ravens fan first and foremost. No player is bigger than the team.

  6. papasmurfbell says: May 19, 2012 9:53 AM

    I don’t see Ed playing in bmore past this yr. There is no way Ozzie can in good conscious give Ed a longterm deal with a sizable SB. If he retires and walks with that bonus it would be crippling to the Ravens with the cap.

  7. donterrelli says: May 19, 2012 9:55 AM

    jluns275 says:
    May 19, 2012 9:38 AM
    Best safety in the league.
    Pay the man.

    ——————–

    All he is, is a ball hawk. He doesn’t know how to tackle and gets injured by a gust of wind.

  8. rocketcrab says: May 19, 2012 10:01 AM

    This is just Ed being Ed. Nothing to see here folks, just move along…..

  9. qj1984 says: May 19, 2012 10:05 AM

    I disagree that he has any leverage. Reed has done this so many times that the Ravens know he’s bluffing. Reed has to seriously be willing to walk away from 7.2 million dollars. He’s not going to do that.

    There is also the fact that Reed wants to be among the highest paid DB’s in the league, which is way over his market value. Let me tell you what is going to happen. Reed is going to play out his contract and hit free agency. And then come back to the Ravens on a team friendly contract. Much like Ray Lewis did 3 years ago, Reed is going to learn that his name doesn’t carry as much weight outside of Baltimore. And his value is highest with the Ravens.

  10. oriolesvsravens says: May 19, 2012 10:08 AM

    When I watch Ed leave his feet during a play its almost an instant injury moment. I understand what he’s going through. He wants to be there for his teammates but he doesn’t know how long his body is going to hold up.

  11. democratsarestupid says: May 19, 2012 10:15 AM

    It seems that it would be smart to give Ed a new contract. His cap number is huge this year. They could renegotiate, lower his number and add a few years. Reed is one of the smartest players in the league and I’m sure he knows the leverage he has right now. Pay the man, he still is top 3 in the league with the dudes in KC and Seattle.

  12. TSizzleBallSoHard says: May 19, 2012 10:35 AM

    He just lost all of his leverage this offseason with all of his remarks. I love Ed and want him back but he’s not going to get paid what he thinks he deserves to if he keeps making stupid remarks and comments like he has been.

  13. lenbias34pt says: May 19, 2012 10:51 AM

    As a long time Ravens fan i can say with a degree of certainty Ed Reed is the biggest me first player in the NFL.

    Sure he is a wonderful talent, but other than INT’s he brings little. And consider any FS playing behind the other 10 guys on this D would get plenty of picks also.

    The media loves this guy and his highlight plays so the fans love him.
    Hell he gives back 2 INT’s a year with his mindboggling pitches or fielding punts off of the hop.
    The Ravens won the Super Bowl without Ed and will win one without him in the future with team oriented men.
    Please retire Ed.

  14. qj1984 says: May 19, 2012 11:45 AM

    @democratsarestupid

    Reed doesn’t want a “cap friendly” contract. He compared himself to Peyton Manning recently. Reed’s expectations are out of touch with reality.

    The best thing for the Ravens is to let him hit the market and see that no one values a 34 year old safety with neck problems who keeps threatening to retire that high.

  15. watermelon1 says: May 19, 2012 11:46 AM

    Anyone who thinks Ed Reed doesn’t tackle anymore is an idiot.

    Is he older, and therefore not as appealing for teams to make a long term offer? Sure. But should Eric freaking Weddle be getting more money than Reed? Hell no.

    Reed has plenty of leverage, as he’s in the last year of his contract and I’m sure some other team will be happy to pay him max money for at least one season, and I’m sure Reed would be fine leaving the Ravens to get a little revenge on them for not paying him.

  16. rockthered1286 says: May 19, 2012 11:54 AM

    @jluns- yea a FS who ballhawks. Thats pretty unimpressive… Reed has owned the FS position so long that QBs tend to avoid throwing anywhere near him in recent years. Yes he had a bad year with tackles but his ability to read an offense and get in a QBs head has more than helped his cause. Reed has been called the best FS to play the game by his peers, former players and analysts alike. That being said, age and injury makes me think twice about a new contract if I’m Oz. Greats don’t last forever out there and Ed’s play is on its way down. 3 yr deal for about $5.5-6/yr and a decent SB at best.

  17. melikefootball says: May 19, 2012 12:17 PM

    Ray Ray has taught Reed well how to be so indecisive and talk out of boith sides of his mouth.

  18. ravenmuscle says: May 19, 2012 12:22 PM

    Sorry Ed… your same ole same old babbling has run its course. No new contract…play out this year for $7.2 mil and hit the road.

    You want new money but you’re not worth it. Try hitting the open market next year at 35 and see what that gets you…bupkus. Ray Lewis tried it and came back with his tail between his legs
    Losing Suggs has NOTHING to do with Reed being worth more …that’s a joke.

    Reed like to free lance and gets lucky now and then when a quarterback makes a mistake.

    Nice try ED.

  19. jluns275 says: May 19, 2012 1:53 PM

    I’m a little surprised at all the Ed Reed hate out there.
    There are about 25 to 28 teams out there that would gladly pay him to be “only” a 34 or 35 year old ballhawk.
    Think about it for a minute…off the top of your head, how many teams out there currently have comparable safety play for similar or even more money?
    Steelers
    Packers
    Chiefs
    Chargers
    49ers
    Seahawks
    Cardinals

    Every other team in the league would pay Reed what the Ravens could offer him, very simply because even with his admittedly diminished skills & health, he’s better than what most teams have.

    As for the fact that you “won a Super Bowl in 2000 without Reed”… wasn’t he in college back then?
    Haloti Ngata was probably in high school back then-does that mean you don’t need him to win a championship now?

  20. ahostiletakeover says: May 19, 2012 2:24 PM

    Since I started following the NFL passionately in 03, Ed has been without a doubt my favorite player. That said, I have to concur with what others are saying and question how he has leverage over the Ravens. Not only is he under contract for this year (which means him not showing up to camp looking for a new deal will result in him LOSING money) but I can’t see him walking away from the 7+ million he is guaranteed this year. The Ravens have proven over the last few years that the success of their defense relies on scheme and player willingness as much if not more so than individual talent. Suggs missed 3 games in ’09 and the team went 2-1. Reed missed the first 6 games of ’10 and they went 4-2. Ray Lewis missed 4 games last year and they won all 4. If Ed decides to retire or hold out, the Ravens won’t miss much of a beat because they always find guys who are willing to do whatever for the team. All of this contract talk also started when Lardarius got his well deserved extension. Ed needs to understand that EVERY year the price tag at every position seems to go up. So yeah, Eric Weddle is going to be making more since he signed a new deal last year as opposed to the mega deal Reed signed back in ’06 which was a good deal at the time.

  21. 69firebird says: May 19, 2012 9:50 PM

    florio writes:
    “This year, Reed initially said he would be back. But then indicated emerged he’d like a new contract.”
    *****************************
    Dude your writing SUCKS, come on… What’s with you? You spend all day commenting on how others are doing at their job and you write crap like this while doing you job? At least take your writing seriously enough to show you have better writing skills than a 4th grader. A college educated man (a lawyer on top of that!) should not be putting out the crap that you put out. You should be embarrassed by your work.

  22. vincentbojackson says: May 19, 2012 9:56 PM

    It seems to me Ed wants to play one more season. Knowing this is his last season he wants to make as much as he possibly can. In order to do this he has to renegotiate his current contract. The only way he can get the Ravens to come to the table is to make them think he’s committed to playing additional years or make them believe he’ll retire if they don’t.

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