Safety Ed Reed has joined the Texans. And the Ravens officially have said farewell to the eight-time All Pro.
“Our hope is that the Hall of Fame players we drafted could play their entire careers with us, but we understand why Ed is moving on to the Texans,” G.M. Ozzie Newsome said in a team-issued press release. “He’s not the first Hall of Famer to move to another team. Tony Gonzalez is playing with the Falcons. Joe Montana played with the Chiefs. Shannon Sharpe and Rod Woodson played for the Ravens.”
But Reed’s move comes less than two months after hitting the pinnacle of his career, at a time when plenty of big-name Ravens are bolting Baltimore. No other Hall of Fame player has done what Reed is now doing, and no other Super Bowl champion has been so quickly dismantled.
The Ravens publicly project confidence regarding the future. But what else would they say? “Wow, we are really gonna suck next year”?
Every team undergoes change, after every season. The Ravens have changed, to some extent, in each of the past five years. And yet they’ve still made it to to the postseason — and won at least one playoff game — for half of a decade.
Besides, there was a clear sense that the Ravens had decided to move on from Reed. Though they didn’t pull an Urlacher and announce that Reed definitely won’t be back before Reed signed with the Texans, Baltimore’s offer delivered a similar message.
It’s the same message that was sent to receiver Anquan Boldin, cornerback Cary Williams, and linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe. The Ravens weren’t willing to pay them what someone else would.
Time will tell whether the Ravens got it right. Either way, that second silver trophy won’t be getting repossessed if Baltimore’s post-Super Bowl personnel strategy fails.