Ed Reed needs to pick a horse.
Willing to send messages to the Ravens, he remains clearly uncomfortable with the obvious consequences of doing so.
Earlier this year, he mused about retirement. And when the media reacted to one of the greatest safeties of all time thinking about quitting, he backtracked quickly, presumably because he didn’t want to generate unwanted attention via a strategy he never planned to implement.
Now, after unexpectedly boycotting a mandatory minicamp and posting on Twitter what reasonably can be interpreted as a message that he may not show up for training camp, Reed doesn’t seem to appreciate the natural consequences of his words.
He complains in a stream of tweets about the reaction, griping for example that youth football camps conducted by players in the offseason don’t get the same kind of coverage.
Along the way, Reed sends another potent message to the team that he presumably thinks should give him a contract extension.
Ross Tucker opened my eyes to the situation last month. When a player holds out, he’s acting no differently than the person who amassed millions if not billions via a capitalist system and then bought a pro football team. And so if a guy understands the potential cost of holding out while nevertheless being “under contract,” and if he’s good enough for the team to actually give a crap about his absence, we say go ahead and capitalize.
But it’s important for the person who plans the holdout to be firm and resolute. Reed apparently knows he can’t stay away from the sport, and so he comes off as wobbly when trying to make a stand.
That’s why the Ravens have been so low key about the situation. They know that if they let this thing play out naturally, he’ll show up — but that if they push him, maybe he’ll muster the willingness to stay home.