NEW ORLEANS -- Ed Reed has patrolled the Ravens secondary for so long that his potential job prospects in another NFL city are rarely broached.
Although the veteran free safety has made it clear that he intends to continue playing football, the question of where has become an open topic for debate.
With his six-year, $44.4 million contract expiring after this season, Reed will become an unrestricted free agent. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has said the team would ideally like to retain Reed and he plans to have a conversation with him in the next few weeks, but this one could get complicated.
Although Reed, 34, intercepted four passes this season and was selected for his ninth Pro Bowl, he has durability and tackling issues and his range has declined.
The Ravens are in a tight salary-cap situation and have other high-profile contracts to work on, including quarterback Joe Flacco’s.
So, Reed finishing his career with the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick or the Indianapolis Colts and former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano are legitimate scenarios.
“I always said when I came into the league and got drafted that I didn’t want to be one of those guys jumping from team to team,” Reed said. “If it was up to me, I would be right in Baltimore. If it happens to be somewhere else, I can play football on the moon. I have a lot of respect for Baltimore as a city, so certain teams would probably have to be weeded out.”
That doesn't appear to include the Patriots.
Reed has drawn fawning praise from Belichick, forming a mutual admiration society with the Super Bowl winning coach at the Pro Bowl years ago.
“Yeah, I could definitely play for coach Belichick,” said Reed when asked by a Boston reporter if he would like to play for the Patriots.. “He is a great coach. I’m sure he can help me to expand my football knowledge even more as a player and as a coach. So, if I’m ever able to be around him, just like I was at the Pro Bowl, it’s huge.”
Reed, who has intercepted 61 career passes and is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has even imitated Belichick's clothing style of cutting off the sleeves of his trademark hoodies.
“It’s the reason why I wear my sweater cut off a little bit,” Reed said. “He’s the first guy I saw like, ‘That’s cool.’ You know, that’s cool. He cuts those sweater sleeves, and he’ll be comfortable. So there’s a reason why. Most people will tell you around the facility that’s how I look. It’s just a blessing to even have met, to know coach Belichick.”
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