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Ed Reed, other Ravens, finding out it’s a business

Baltimore Ravens Victory Parade Getty Images

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome promised that he wasn’t going to repeat himself, and over-commit to older stars in the wake of a Super Bowl win.

The length to which he has gone to fulfill that promise is now dawning on the players it applies to.

During his visit with the Texans last night, veteran safety Ed Reed told CSN Houston he hadn’t made and decisions, but that he was a little surprised by the course the Ravens are following.

I think, as an organization, they kind of want things on their terms,” Reed said. “Seeing how things have transpired over there right now, it’s like wow, I just can’t believe how things are happening from a business standpoint when guys give you blood sweat and tears and give you everything. And try to do the best for the team. Players definitely did that.

“Baltimore’s a great organization over the years as we all know, and do the right things for the organization. You’ve got to respect that. Every organization does that.”

Actually, Ed, every organization doesn’t. There are many organizations that get emotionally tied to players and keep them past their expiration date. And they overspend in the process, and limit their ability to stay viable beyond a specific group of individuals.

The Ravens have cut safety Bernard Pollard and guard Bobbie Williams. They’ve watched linebacker Dannell Ellerbe walk rather than give $7 million a year to an inside linebacker they signed as an undrafted free agent. They groomed Paul Kruger, but didn’t get in a bidding war for an $8 million a year pass-rusher who wasn’t an every-down player for them. They traded wide receiver Anquan Boldin rather than pay him $6 million. They’re not exactly begging Reed to stay.

It’s a cold-hearted way of doing business. But it’s also what they have to do after locking up  quarterback Joe Flacco, a more important part to their long-term success.

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51 Responses to “Ed Reed, other Ravens, finding out it’s a business”
  1. ItIsWhatitis says: Mar 15, 2013 10:38 AM

    Bolden was a huge mistake. The guy should have been MVP and Flacco is nothing without him.

  2. bettis3636 says: Mar 15, 2013 10:40 AM

    The day when your terrible QB is worth more to you then your Hall Of Famers… terrible…

  3. ravenator says: Mar 15, 2013 10:44 AM

    The defense was below average last season. Some spring cleaning on the defensive side of the football is a smart and calculated move. Besides Boldin,who could not get seperation, the offense remains the same. Hate on haters. The Ravens will still be competing in the playoffs as they always have under Harbaugh and Flacco. Cheers!

  4. jnbnet says: Mar 15, 2013 10:45 AM

    Well I hate the Ravens (because of idiots like ravenator), but Ozzie did learn from Bill Belichick, who got rid of Bernie Kozar in the Cleveland days. They do what it take to be winners.

  5. rayray5227 says: Mar 15, 2013 10:46 AM

    At first I was shocked we traded Boldin and werent in no rush to sign Ed Reed. But Im starting to think it’s not about the tightness of salary cap but Ozzie has a solid plan laid out for the future of this franchise. If they commit big money to Reed, Kruger and Boldin now, they will have even less cap space to resign any future players that might be on the rise. Still I think they couldve gotten much more for Boldin and Id still like to see Reed retire a Raven.

  6. beerfrme says: Mar 15, 2013 10:48 AM

    I can’t stand athletes who use the phrase that I put my blood, sweat, and tears into the team and this is how I am treated. You have a job that you are very well compensated for. It is a business, it is not what have you done for me it is what can you do for me.

  7. thekingcoleman says: Mar 15, 2013 10:50 AM

    Actually, Ed, every organization doesn’t. There are many organizations that get emotionally tied to players and keep them past their expiration date. And they overspend in the process, and limit their ability to stay viable beyond a specific group of individuals.

    CC: The Carolina Panthers

  8. nnagi says: Mar 15, 2013 10:51 AM

    newsflash ed, you are very well compensated for your blood, sweat and tears…

  9. daytonaken says: Mar 15, 2013 10:51 AM

    Fans want winners, period. As a Raven fan I was very happy to see Ray Lewis win another Super Bowl. At the same time I was sad to see him get routinely beat on pass plays. I also was sad to see Ed Reed miss so many tackles. Tackles that were routine in the past. It’s hard to see our hero’s age. Time waits for no man and Ozzie has a job to do and I believe he can and will build another Super Bowl winner, but sometimes reality sucks!

  10. puckthefatriots says: Mar 15, 2013 10:52 AM

    Guess we’ll see if pompous Joe can put an organization on his back like Manning and Brady have for more than a decade.

  11. ahostiletakeover says: Mar 15, 2013 10:54 AM

    I understand losing all of the other guys and I don’t blame the Ravens for letting those guys walk/releasing them. But if there is a chance to match the Texans’ offer to Reed without ruining all of that cap space, they need to do it. James Ihedigbo is a career backup/spot starter and their other safeties are second year players Christian Thompson and Omar Brown. After releasing Pollard, it is probably the thinnest position on the roster, they really need Reed back there on a 2 year deal to finish his career where he started.

  12. steeelfann says: Mar 15, 2013 10:56 AM

    I do not think that the Ravens will make the playoffs next year. No hate here, but you cannot take all that character and talent off a team and expect no impact.
    Ray Lewis was slow as molasses in the middle, but he still was fairly effective against the run. Ed Reed will be sorely missed. Ellerbe will be missed. Pollard while a pain, was a physical presence. Losing their center is huge. McKinney is huge. Losing Carey is huge. I don’t know what their schedule looks like, but they are in trouble. But hey, they got the ring tho.
    Gotta give something to get something and they did it.

  13. nickster31 says: Mar 15, 2013 10:57 AM

    Not saying that Flacco isnt more important than any of the players you mentioned, but do you really think that he is more important than ALL of them combined?

    Reality is, a year from now, we are going to look at this and ssy Ozzy was a genius or an idiot. Either way, the Ravens are all in with Flacco and they will be as good as he can make them.

    That being said Ravens fans, many of you pointed to the Steelers loss of leadership as one of the reasons they fell from 12-4 to 8-8. What do you think is going to happen to the Ravens? I mean, we list James Farrior and Hines Ward, and you lost Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

  14. jstreet1985 says: Mar 15, 2013 10:59 AM

    I’m a die hard ravens fan and I can’t understand what is goin on in thT office! Im also a realist an see reed is past his prime but they better have some tricks up there sleeves or were in for a LONG season!!

  15. patriottony says: Mar 15, 2013 10:59 AM

    ED you are a “FIRST CLASS GOOF”,,,what do you expect? “Sista Sledge”? OF course you are bound for the dumpsta. I mean two weeks ago,,you tweeted,,blogged,,and moaned,,NO way I could go to NE,,,This is my family, my blood,,,we fight together!!!
    Your time has come dude..move on….you been evicted,,,,LMAO. But I’m sure you can have a family reunion at the ring ceremony, or while visting obummer.

  16. crownofthehelmet says: Mar 15, 2013 11:00 AM

    Cold, heartless organization.

  17. yellowbluewhogotaclue says: Mar 15, 2013 11:00 AM

    is aight ed u can still make good money in baltimore flyin sign… LOL

  18. ccoolahan14 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:01 AM

    There’s a reason why Ozzie is the best GM in the league (and one of the best in history). There’s also a reason why they have the longest streak in the NFL of making the playoffs (Joe Flacco and Ray Rice have NEVER missed the playoffs). Everyone saying they are going to be bad are just ignorant.

    Let’s remember, they won the Super Bowl last year while playing a significant part of their season without their top THREE inside LBs, the reigning defensive player of the year, Haloti Ngata at 60% all season, and their best CB (Webb) for the entire season. They’ve lost good pieces, but there is no question that the defense can match (and exceed) the mash unit that was on the field for much of last year.

  19. accipiterq says: Mar 15, 2013 11:03 AM

    The thing is they’re not letting go only older players; Ellerbe & Kruger weren’t over the hill by any means. They’re hamstrung by that gluttonous bloated contract their Top-15 QB signed.

  20. ccoolahan14 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:04 AM

    And the most forgotten part of all of this is that Suggs played all of last season at 60%, playing with a torn achilles and torn bicep. Haloti played all of last season with several injuries, and was roughly 60% the whole year.

    If those guys stay healthy this year, it’s essentially replacing their slightly above average selves from last year with two of the best defensive players in the NFL (plus Webb is coming back). That’s a HUGE upgrade and something know one is talking about (or wants to think about…).

  21. ccoolahan14 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:07 AM

    no*

  22. deathonwings410 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:08 AM

    couldnt keep boldin at that salary. flacco needs receivers tgat can get separation regularly. he had to fit balls into tight spaces because q is slow and getting slower.

  23. number20pick6 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:10 AM

    Love all the haters. It’s funny cuz they said all the same things in the beginning of the year

  24. ravenmuscle says: Mar 15, 2013 11:12 AM

    Overpaying old farts or overpaying guys like Ellerbe and Kruger who had about 10 good games in the last 4 years is not being smart about things. But other teams watch the Superbowl and think by magic signing ex Ravens is the path to Superbowl Heaven. They will find out diferently in do time..
    Didn’t see where Ben Grubbs(Saints)…Jarrett Johnson(Chargers)…Corey Redding(Colts)…Ton Zbibakowski (Colts)…Haruki Nakamora (Panthers) got their new teams anywhere last year except for costing them a lot of wasted money and cap space.

    Just watch what Kruger and Ellerbe do this year. They will cash their checks and fade into obscurity just like Edgerton Hartwell…Bart Scott.. and Adalius Thomas…adn Gary Baxter did…just to name a few.

    OH…and don’t forget what Phil Savage did in Cleveland when the Browns thought they stole our personnel genius

  25. haterade999 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:13 AM

    Reload. The future is young and bright in Bmore.

    This is not a first.

  26. uvmcatamounts says: Mar 15, 2013 11:16 AM

    “Guys give you their blood sweat and tears and all you give them in return is millions upon millions of dollars.”

  27. uvmcatamounts says: Mar 15, 2013 11:17 AM

    accipiterq says: Mar 15, 2013 11:03 AM

    The thing is they’re not letting go only older players; Ellerbe & Kruger weren’t over the hill by any means. They’re hamstrung by that gluttonous bloated contract their Top-15 QB signed.

    ——————————————

    I guess you haven’t seen Flacco’s contract. You also might want to learn a little about the salary cap and how it works before you post. You won’t seem as uniformed.

  28. pesh00 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:19 AM

    Actually, Ed, every organization doesn’t. There are many organizations that get emotionally tied to players and keep them past their expiration date. And they overspend in the process, and limit their ability to stay viable beyond a specific group of individuals.

    ………………………….

    I hope Jerry Jones is reading that 50 times over.

  29. rodh32340 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:19 AM

    Lewis retires, looks like Reed is going to Texans and Bolden gets traded. I guess the Super Bowl win was their end-all not the beginning of .

  30. jefftownsend52 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:20 AM

    The Ravens are just stocking up on 2014 compensation picks…

  31. craig21001 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:21 AM

    ed reed was good at one time but he is old now and he plays 2 hand touch he dont tackle nomore not worth 6 million a year. I hope he leaves

  32. uvmcatamounts says: Mar 15, 2013 11:25 AM

    ItIsWhatitis says: Mar 15, 2013 10:38 AM

    Bolden was a huge mistake. The guy should have been MVP and Flacco is nothing without him.

    ——————————————

    Clearly you ONLY watched the Ravens in the playoffs. I love Boldin, and was most sad to see him go of all the players this offseason. Even moreso than Reed. But you obviously haven’t watched the Ravens in the regular season the past few years. Boldin is a heck of a player but to say Flacco is nothing without him is ABSURD.

    You should watch more football before commenting on something you know nothing about. Also, you should learn to spell Boldin. It’s not difficult.

  33. ac540 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:28 AM

    They still have the best roster in the division…

  34. pharmboysteve says: Mar 15, 2013 11:32 AM

    Harbaugh is getting rid of everyone who has an opinion in the locker room. He has to remember that those “strong personalities” he’s dumping are pro bowlers who show strong leadership ! They are the ones who got this team a ring , not Harbaugh! The Ravens won the Super Bowl in spite of Harbaugh ! If he wants this to be “his team”, he will have to do it without the leaders that are gone. He better be careful for what he wishes for. He can’t do it on his own. He AIN’T that good of a coach!

  35. cpo187 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:32 AM

    Thanks Flacco!

  36. wiley16350 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:50 AM

    The thing the players have to realize is that they make the amount they do because of their ability to play the game at the highest level. Once you have reached an age where it’s more than likely you won’t be able to compete at that level, you no longer deserve the big money. Because the only reason you deserve the money in the first place is because of what you can do. The money you make in football should not be seen as money that should be able to support your ability to live the high life for your entire life. It should be seen as a way to make a lot of money in a short span of time that can set you up for life if you use it wisely. The only players that get screwed are players like Russell Wilson, where they clearly outplay their contract and absolutely would deserve some extra money for last season. Owners can also get screwed by players that take their money and don’t perform up to their contract. The most fair would be year to year performance base pay. But that probably would have difficulties in implementing, especially with a free agency system. Ultimately, a player is only worth what an owner wants to pay him. Sometimes the owner has to make difficult decisions because even though they love having a guy like Reed on their team and would probably have no problem paying a little more for him, they can never be certain when a players ability will just drop off the table and the player becomes a hindrance to the team and salary cap.

  37. doe22us says: Mar 15, 2013 11:55 AM

    I thing the should be a party where Ravenator, logical, vox veritas (wonder where he went) and famous dave should all go to. Boy that will be a ball lol.

  38. watermelon1 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:06 PM

    I highly doubt flacco is more important to their long-term success than having depth and talent at multiple positions.

    But flacco lovers can not be convinced and we’ll have to wait until the games start before they come up with more excuses as to why it’s not his fault…

    “The line isn’t good. The defense isn’t good. The receivers aren’t good. The coaching isn’t good. But… FLACCO IS THE GREATEST!”

  39. shaunypoo says: Mar 15, 2013 12:07 PM

    As a Bengals fan I have always respected the job Ozzy has done in Baltimore to consistently field a competitive team, culminating in a Super Bowl this year. Given his track record, regardless of how the Ravens perform this coming season, I believe he has a plan to reload. They have lost a lot of contributors this off season, but if anyone can bring in new talent, it is Ozzy. I think they may be down for a year or two, but the AFCN is one of the most competitive in football and I see no reason for that to change.

    The only flaw I find in their offseason is the massive contract for Flacco. Sure it is a good contract for the next 3 years, but they will have to renegotiate after that. I see it as a 3 year rebuilding to get another core group in place before they decide to renegotiate or cut bait with Flacco.

  40. swagger52 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:08 PM

    Ed we love you. We would really love to have you finish with the Ravens. At this point, it would be great to have fond memories of going wire to wire Draft to HOF with you and Ray Lewis.

    I wish you could play forever. I wish you were worth millions and millions forever. I wish I was worth $100,000s forever. That is not true for either of us. However, that doesn’t mean we have to go out in flames. Just do what Ray did. Look at him now.

  41. haterade999 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:12 PM

    pharmboysteve says:
    Mar 15, 2013 11:32 AM
    Harbaugh is getting rid of everyone who has an opinion in the locker room. He has to remember that those “strong personalities” he’s dumping are pro bowlers who show strong leadership ! They are the ones who got this team a ring , not Harbaugh!

    ______________________

    Not a single one of these guys had a pro-bowl type year. Some weren’t even full time starters.

    Oh and Harbaugh out-coached Pagano, Fox, BB, and Jim enroute to hoisting the Lombardi.

    Yes. That happened.

  42. enoughofthatalready says: Mar 15, 2013 12:20 PM

    Re-tooling is fine when you have the talent behind those players to fill the roles left behind. Who do the Ravens have on their roster right now that can come in and replace Kruger, Ellerbe, Lewis, Reed and Pollard? They do not have a receiver that can fill the role of Boldin and if they lose McKinnie, the retirement of Birk leaves a gap in the line that jelled in the playoffs. It is great to be optimistic, but please be realistic as well. Sure the Ravens do not make many mistakes is letting veterans go, but the guys that are leaving now will do well for their new teams while the Ravens will have to draft or scrape the bottom of the free agent barrell.

  43. tsuscrumhalf says: Mar 15, 2013 12:22 PM

    For the folks commenting on Flacco’s contract: He counts only 6.8 vs. the cap this year. These moves have very little, if anything, to do with Joe’s contract.

    Ray Lewis & Birk – retired & that was gonna happen regardless of whatever else happened.

    Kruger – CLE overpaid for a part time player.

    Ellerbee – MIA overpaid for a very good player who will be missed. But, that deal was too rich for his position & level of talent.

    Reed – His play has fallen off considerably in the last 2 years. He’s still Ed Reed & can have Ed Reed moments, but w/his neck & shoulder injuries, he can’t tackle any more. Can still bait QBs into making throws that he picks off. He could do that when he’s 87 years old, he’s just that good. But, he’s a liability in the run game & may only have 1 decent year left. Rather lose him a year early than a year late. The best ever at his position. Hope he comes back for leadership, but he isn’t the same player he was a decade ago.

    Boldin – was average at best during regular season. Went beast mode during playoffs. Became Joe’s security blanket. Pitta will pick up security blanket role now. And Ray Rice. And Torrey. And Jacoby. Would love a nice slot receiver to complement Jacoby/Torrey, but Q is 33 now & not getting separation. He was amazing, but at 33 he might only have a year or 2 left. Time to develop a younger guy. He will be missed, but he’s the only offensive weapon gone. People panicked when Derrick Mason & Todd Heap were let go. Same priniciple at work here.

    Still have a solid D-Line. Go 4-5 deep at CB. Need help at LB & S currently, but there are plenty of available UFAs & there are 12 draft picks, not to mention camp cuts later in the year when we always seem to pick up a guy or 2.

    count me as one Ravens fan that is not hitting the panic button. The D was sub-par this season & it’s about to get younger & faster. Blind dogs in a meathouse……..

  44. macjacmccoy says: Mar 15, 2013 12:26 PM

    Long term success? Im sorry I really like the Ravens they have been my superbowl pick to come out of the AFC for the past 5 years but they definitely wont be my pick next year. They lost way to many pieces and havent replaced them at all.

    I see them struggling to get a wild card spot the next view years. To me they pretty much have to go into rebuilding mode right now. They dont have the talent now to compete for a title and they have to many holes that using a patch just wont work. I see it taking 2 maybe 3 good drafts while retaining what they have right now before they can challenge for another title.

    They need 2 starting pass rushers, a starting mlb, a starting corner, 2 starting o lineman, 2 starting wide receivers, and a starting safety. And they cant just be plug and play guys either. At least half of them will need to be borderline pro bowlers for this team to be able to win another title.

    Outside of Rice and Flacco who do they have? Its crazy. I have never seen a championship caliber team get this gutted before and not acquire any meaningful replacements.

    They are gonna need a Cowboys via Hershel Walker type of Miracle draft this year to make them a threat to repeat this season.

  45. playbookofeli says: Mar 15, 2013 12:28 PM

    Flacco a completion percentage is like 45% to everyone other than bolden. Lets see how this plays out

  46. macjacmccoy says: Mar 15, 2013 12:33 PM

    Man God must be a 49ers fan or atleast had money on then in superbowl, because he is out for Raven blood this year.

    Either that or Ray Lewis Made a deal with devil. That if the Devil helped him beat 2 murder and win 2 Super Bowls he would give him his soul once he died and the soul of the Ravens once he retired.

  47. ravenschick says: Mar 15, 2013 12:52 PM

    I do not think that the Ravens will make the playoffs next year. No hate here, but you cannot take all that character and talent off a team and expect no impact.
    Ray Lewis was slow as molasses in the middle, but he still was fairly effective against the run. Ed Reed will be sorely missed. Ellerbe will be missed. Pollard while a pain, was a physical presence. Losing their center is huge. McKinney is huge. Losing Carey is huge. I don’t know what their schedule looks like, but they are in trouble. But hey, they got the ring tho.
    Gotta give something to get something and they did it.

    —————————————

    Birk had a decent year, but we drafted a center last year who played well in the last Bengals game. Carey Williams got beat for deep balls regulary. McKinney will be back on a 1 year deal because no one will take a risk on him. Ellerbe was a hit because we have little depth at ILB. Everyone knew Kruger was gone. His impact will be replaced by a healthy Suggs and an improved Upshaw (who is a better run defender). Don’t count the Ravens out just yet. I know Ozzie has a plan and a few tricks up his sleeves.

  48. ravenschick says: Mar 15, 2013 12:58 PM

    They need 2 starting pass rushers, a starting mlb, a starting corner, 2 starting o lineman, 2 starting wide receivers, and a starting safety. And they cant just be plug and play guys either. At least half of them will need to be borderline pro bowlers for this team to be able to win another title.

    —————————————————-

    Suggs will come back healthy and Upshaw will be better. Art Jones and a healthy McPhee will improve the pass rush. Webb will be back at CB, so we’ll have Webb, Jimmy Smith and Corey Graham – a very good 3 CBs – and Brown at dime CB. Two WRs? Torrey & Jacoby, plus Pitta & Dickson. We need a possession WR to replace Boldin, which may be Doss (if he can catch). Not hard to find a possession WR in the FA market or draft. Reed isn’t gone yet and we have quite a few young safeties (Thompson & Omar Brown) that might fill the bill.

    On O, we need a stop-gap LT and one WR (as stated above). Otherwise, the O is pretty much the same one that won the SB.

  49. pharmboysteve says: Mar 15, 2013 1:10 PM

    I don’t see where Harbaugh out coached everyone on the way to winning the trophy. Was Harbaugh responsible for the big plays that got us there like Pollards hit on Ridley, Jacoby jones getting behind Champ Bailey, to tie it up in Denver, Ellerbies pick in OT to get us the ball back and score in Denver? No he wasn’t. I’m not saying he’s a BAD coach. All I’m saying is that a good coach doesn’t cut his nose to spite his face by keeping good players ( who are in the dog house ) off of the field which lessens our chances of winning ( ie Mckinnie, and Ellerbie). I know Harbaugh must have had a say in trading Boldin over a $2 million pay cut and the signing David Reed to a $2.5 million contract. A good coach plays the players who put the team in the best position to win. A good coach doesn’t constantly waste timeouts with poor challenges. Harbaugh isn’t the worst coach , but, he has no idea what he’s up against next year.

  50. micknangold says: Mar 15, 2013 1:29 PM

    Joe Flacco held this team for ransom, and they’re paying for it. You just can’t lose this many big time contributors and expect to repeat, so I suppose the Ravens front office knows they won’t. It doesn’t even look like they’ll get back to the playoffs with all this starter turnover. I gues we’ll see how good Flacco is (not 20 mil a year good, that’s for sure)

  51. kanemoney says: Mar 15, 2013 3:05 PM

    This is what makes the NFL so tough. Players are underpaid on their rookie contracts, paid fairly in their prime, and then overpaid as they peak and decline. Now as an aging vet, how much does he think he is really worth?

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