NEW ORLEANS -- Straddling a fine line between lobbying other NFL teams for a job as a pending free agent and not offending the Ravens, veteran free safety Ed Reed said that staying in Baltimore remains his first priority.
Among the potential destinations attached to Reed: the New England Patriots coached by Bill Belichick, the Indianapolis Colts coached by former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano and the New York Jets coached by former Ravens defensive boss Rex Ryan.
"I'm dealing with the Ravens right now," Reed told The Baltimore Sun. "I'm not dealing with Indy or no other team in the league. It's Baltimore, first and foremost. Once I deal with Baltimore if something else is out there or not, I'm comfortable with where I'm at in life. Yeah, you would play for Belichick. Yeah, you would play for Chuck. Chuck knows that, Rex knows that."
Reed, 34, has consistently indicated he wants to continue playing football, but always offers the caveat about his health. Reed intercepted four passes and started every game despite a torn shoulder labrum. He has a chronic nerve impingement that he's dealt with for several years.
One day after declaring interest in playing for the Patriots, where Belichick has repeatedly expressed his admiration for the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Reed claried his remarks.
"The question is, 'Would I play for Bill Belichick?' Yes," said Reed, whose six-year, $44.4 million contract is expiring after the Super Bowl. "What football player wouldn't play for coach Belichick? Will I be in New England? Most likely not. It's just terrible that people get half of the story."