Ed Reed hasn't heard from Ravens, hopes to remain with Super Bowl champions

The Baltimore Sun

For Ravens veteran free safety Ed Reed, the waiting game continues.

Reed is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time after completing his six-year, $44.5 million contract with the Ravens.

The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year's stated preference is to remain in Baltimore, but he indicated he hasn't talked with the Super Bowl champions about his outlook.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has said he plans to talk with Reed at some point. The free agent signing period begins March 12 at 4 p.m.

"I haven't spoken to anyone," Reed told NFL Network in a television interview. "Hopefully, that call comes soon."

Although often linked to the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, whose respective head coaches, Bill Belichick and Chuck Pagano have connections and admiration for Reed, the nine-time Pro Bowl selection would prefer to stick with Baltimore.

That isn't necessarily a lock given that Reed will have high financial expectations having made $7.2 million last season. Plus, Reed, 34, is getting older, has a history of injuries, including a nerve impingement in his neck, and his range has admittedly declined.

"I'm a Raven, I plan on being a Raven," Reed said. " I couldn't see me anywhere else right now. If it happens, I'm a football player. I can adapt to any situation."

Further complicating Reed's situation: He still has no agent after firing his previous representation years ago.

Reed is entitled to operate as his own agent, but that can potentially be an awkward situation. Reed does have business advisors and is regarded as a savvy operator, but it's untraditional for a player of his stature to have no formal represenation.

"What I think happens with him will be similar to how the Ravens handled Ray Lewis where they didn't make him an immediate priority and let him check out the market with the Dallas Cowboys and look around, and then he came back," said former sports agent Joel Corry, who writes about the business side of the NFL for National Football Post. "With Ed Reed, I don't know if it will turn out that way because of his history with other coaches like Chuck Pagano having coached him in college and with the Ravens.

"As far as not having an agent, it's hard to say stuff to a guy's face. You can have hurt feelings when you get into any negative stuff in a negotiation. It may be better for the team to talk to his busines advisor ultimately to preserve the relationship. Ed can hire someone out where their fee arrngement is on an hourly basis as opposed to percentage of the contract, but, whomever does it, they have to be registered with the NFL Players Association and Ed has to sign them to a standard representation agreement to work on his behalf."

Meanwhile, Reed weighed in on quarterback Joe Flacco's landmark $120.6 million contract, which includes a $29 million signing bonus and makes him the highest-paid player in the game.

"Joe deserves it, man," Reed said. "He's been consistent every year he's been in the league. He's been growing and has a lot more to learn and wins to get. Joe definitely deserves it."



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