Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY, USA TODAY Sports
February 3, 2013
The highlight of the Super Bowl celebrations for me, watching from afar, was the joy and fervency free safety Ed Reed displayed after getting his first ring. As confetti littered the field at the Superdome, Reed, who often wears his emotions on the sleeves of his jersey, reveled in the moment. He bobbed around the dais in the dome as he impatiently waited for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to award the Ravens the Lombardi Trophy, and once he got his fingers on it, it looked as if Reed never wanted to let it go. He had it again during the championship parade in downtown Baltimore on Tuesday, and he abandoned the military vehicle he was supposed to be riding in on the way to the stadium so he could walk the parade route and allow Ravens fans -- there were thousands on the way -- to touch the trophy, too.
The dominant storyline before and after the Super Bowl was winning one for Ray Lewis, but teammates wanted to win it just as much for Reed -- the silent leader of the defense, at least when the cameras are on -- if not more. Sure, Lewis was retiring, but he had won a ring before. Reed now has one, too, but he says he isn't planning on retiring. He also said before the Super Bowl that he could see himself playing for Bill Belichick in the New England Patriots or reuniting with Chuck Pagano with the Indianapolis Colts should he walk in free agency. Those comments all made headlines and stirred up emotions from some fans, but let's be honest: Reed has no idea what he is eating for lunch today, let alone what he wants to do next season. I don't say that with any ill will or malice toward Reed. With his health, his family, and his right to go out and get as much money as he can get, a decision will take some time. And while the Ravens would like to have him back at the right price -- they believe the feeling may be mutual -- general manager Ozzie Newsome indicated that they aren't expecting to seriously talk with him any time soon.
"Unofficially, we've had conversations," Newsome told reporters Thursday. "I think he's still representing himself still. I don't know if he's got an agent. But I think he wanted to let some time clear and at that point, he and I will sit down. I think he realizes there may be some other options out there, but I think if you watched him, if you watched his body language over the course of the last eight to 10 days, that he loves being here in Baltimore and I think we can use that to help make that relationship last a little bit longer."
For now, those tough conversations with Newsome -- which will be even tougher if he still doesn't have an agent -- can wait a few weeks. Reed, as much as anyone, deserves the right to savor this celebration.