Another day, another twist in the Ed Reed saga. On Wednesday, the Ravens safety told Comcast SportsNet that he "always planned on playing this year." That obviously sounds like a positive development, but be warned that the Reed roller coaster hasn’t yet come to a halt and won’t until he reports to training camp next Wednesday.
So keep your seatbelts fastened and fingers crossed that Reed’s mindset won’t swerve before camp begins.
After all, Reed’s comments have been pretty inconsistent all offseason. Here is a complete (we think) recap.
March 29th to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “There’s a lot of talk out there. I’m not going to say I’m 50-50 because I’m not. I want to play football, but it’s something me and my team have been discussing the last couple of weeks. My partners, they do a great job of making sure I know the pros and cons of what’s going on with my body and with the organization and where we’re at. I plan on doing it, but depending, it could change.”
March 29th to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (yes, later in the very same interview): “If it was up to me, I’d be with a walking cane out there. I don’t know, man. I think four to five [more] years is a reality for me.”
April 4th to Baltimore radio station 105.7 The Fan: “I plan on playing. Everybody in the world knows that plans tend to change. I’ve got some unfinished business. I got a lot on my mind I’ve been thinking about and the truth of the matter is that it’s about respect. It’s about getting respect and it’s a business. … When I’m on the football field, I’m giving you everything. Do the Ravens know that? Yes they do. Did [Ravens general manager] Ozzie [Newsome] know that Ed Reed was going to be playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers regardless of negotiating his contract? Yes he did. Did Ed get the respect that he deserves? No he did not. Am I going to get it? Probably won’t. Hopefully he do. If I don’t, then, hey man, I’m alright with me.”
May 11 to The Baltimore Sun (while in town attending an Orioles game, Reed was asked if he planned to meet with Newsome): "No, not meeting with Ozzie. I don’t even think Ozzie is taking my calls right now.”
May 17 to Sirius/XM’s NFL Radio (after he told the hosts he wasn’t “100 percent committed” to playing in 2012): “It’s still May. I know that time is kind of inching away at me. We do have a mandatory camp coming up that I’m still in deep thought about because other things are important to me now. I still know I can play at a high level. I can still go for another couple years physically. But other things is kind of taking place in my life right now and making me think about things differently.”
June 12 to Ravens coach John Harbaugh (about why he wasn’t attending mandatory minicamp): Actually, Reed didn’t say a word this time. Harbaugh said Reed never called him to let him know he wasn’t showing up.
July 7 on his Twitter account: “Back home with my son, he's riding his bike [and] I'm doing yard work! Tell the bosses I'm comfortable!”
July 9 and 10 on his Twitter account: “Build people up, not tear them down. ... Players that have2be smart business men,in a business that don't care an inch about them though we grind for that inch-notalwaysrightbutreal … The media only picks out the negative. Controversy is what they hunt out. Haters gonna hate. Just gotta rise above it. … Y'all believe money really make a difference to the families that lost love1's bc of football? Some people just want us to entertain them! … $,it matters that's y it's a busines w/ two sides to it and the players r wrong, but we on the field and getting RELEASE at any point”
July 11 on 105.7 The Fan: “The only way we protect ourselves, the only way a player gets what he wants is by holding out.”
July 16 to The Baltimore Sun (after local reporters were told to steer clear of football questions before interviewing Reed after his youth camp): “This is about [this] camp, man. This is about these kids today. My mind is just so far away from what’s about to happen in the fall. I’m thinking about other things.”
July 16 to a national reporter who was a guest at the youth football camp (minutes after local media were done interviewing Reed): "I love this game, and I put my heart and soul into it. You could see it out here today. I'm sure the Ravens are confident I'll be there for camp, because they know how much I love the game, too. But I'll say this, they're not going to get me for cheap, not a chance.”
Today to Comcast Sportsnet (after he reportedly told fans at Reed's charity golf tournament that he would report to training camp next week): "I always planned on playing this year. I never thought about not playing."
Literally 30 seconds later to Comcast Sportsnet: "I retired this offseason. I honestly got myself away from football. That's why I didn't come to minicamp. I was away from football. I was spending time with my family."
But remember what I said about keeping those seatbelts buckled and those fingers crossed. There could be another loopty-loop or stomach-twisting turn before the Ed Reed roller coaster comes to a complete stop.