The Ravens have been using linebacker Ray Lewis’ pending retirement as motivation during their run to the Super Bowl, but they won’t be getting another jolt of inspiration from one of the team’s other defensive leaders.
Safety Ed Reed has flirted with retirement over the last couple of offseasons before returning to Baltimore. He was asked about his plans for the future on Thursday and sticking to his answer will mean that there won’t be any flirtation this time around. Reed said he’d “just bought a bike” when asked if this is his last ride and then made things even more explicit.
“I’ll be playing next year. Next question,” Reed said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun.
The question now becomes where Reed will be playing. His contract with the Ravens is up, which means that he could entertain offers from any team in the league unless Baltimore gives him the franchise tag. That seems like an unlikely turn of events and it will be an impossible one if the Ravens can’t reach a quick long-term agreement with quarterback Joe Flacco.
Even at 35, Reed would likely draw a fair amount of interest around the league which could mean a very different look for the Baltimore defense next season.