Ravens haven't missed out on much this offseason

Organization is playing the offseason just right

The Ravens almost lost another key player in free agency.

Oh, ho-hum, another day, another top player gone.

Who cares, and at this point, did anyone expect anything different? Despite the exodus of players, the Ravens haven't made any major mistakes in cutting players or not re-signing them.

So far, the offseason has gone as expected with the Ravens losing six starters from last season's Super Bowl championship team. On Friday, future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed almost became the latest before he left Houston without a contract.

The Texans and some of their front office greeted Reed as if he was an astronaut who had returned from one of those famed Apollo space missions, and they might have found out he is just as spacey.

But at least the Ravens didn't have to say bye, bye yet.

There will always be great respect for Reed. For the past 11 seasons in Baltimore, he proved he was one of the best to ever play the game. Early in his career, before the injuries, he was one of the NFL's top tacklers.

Few have played with more passion and even fewer showed such remarkable instincts. Reed was a game changer and his trademark was that long, loping stride down the sideline after an interception and returning it for a touchdown.

He was about to be missed on Sundays, and so were those stares and tough words he used to have for me in the locker room and on the radio during the course of the week.

Yet after the Super Bowl, there was a good chance Reed would not be in a Ravens uniform again. At 34, with several nagging injuries and having lost a step which no longer allowed him to freelance as much in coverage, only a contending team that believed Reed was the missing ingredient would pay him big money.

It appeared to be Houston, but not any longer. Despite flying Reed in on the owner's personal jet, the two sides failed to reach an agreement. There is speculation Reed wanted a contract worth $6 or $7 million a season, and the Texans wanted a more modest salary loaded with incentives.

Reed is learning a tough lesson. Free agency is time for the young and that is why former Ravens linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe made out so well.

Both developed well through the years and had successful seasons in 2012-13. But there is no way the Ravens were going to pay Kruger $8 million or Ellerbe $7 million per season like the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins.

They shouldn't have.

Unfortunately, the NFL has its way of rewarding incompetent franchises, and free agency is the great equalizer.

As for Reed, he can put some confidence into a Houston secondary that played poorly in the final quarter of the regular season and in the playoffs. Is he worth the millions he wants from the Texans, or possibly the Indianapolis Colts?

Maybe.

It depends on your needs. If you want a safety that tackles well and plays within the scheme, then he is not worth it. If you want a safety that can still play a great center field and take away one half of a field, then you want Reed.

In the age of the salary cap, Super Bowl teams are often raided for their players, but the Ravens have another issue as well.

This is head coach John Harbaugh's team now, and that went into effect immediately after the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers, and Ray Lewis took his shoulder pads off for the last time after an illustrious 17-year career.

 
Talk about it
Join other sports fans on our Ravens message board SUBSCRIBE TO THIS FEED

PHOTO GALLERIES

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps

RAVENS & FOOTBALL VIDEOS

Welcome to The Baltimore Sun's Ravens game story database. Use the search prompts below for access to Baltimore Sun stories for every game in Ravens history.