Ed, if your plan is to pitch in August during a holdout, please come to Toronto.

Family members say the darndest things. They mean well, and they think they’re looking out for your best interests. But they’re really screwing you out of a lucrative contact worth millions by exposing the hollowness of your training camp holdout threats.

OK, maybe that last sentence only applies to an NFL player, unless you’ve actually had a family member screw you out of millions before. I’m sure you still love them.

Ed Reed has cryptically discussed a possible holdout throughout the offseason. More money isn’t necessarily his end game (he’ll make $7.2 million in 2012 during the final year of his contract), as instead the future Hall of Fame safety wants an extension, and some respect and security as he gradually fades into his football golden years.That’s when this spirals into a classic stalemate case, with an argument made quite easily for the position of either side.

Reed thinks he’s still playing at a high level, and he’s not ready to retire yet despite the presence of 35 candles on his birthday cake in early September. That’s just a figurative birthday cake for our purposes here, because from my experience past the age of about 15 no one puts age-appropriate candles on a cake, which is a complete rip off. Anywho, despite missing 10 games over the past three years due to injuries, Reed still has 14 of his 57 career interceptions during that stretch.

But it’s those injuries and his creaky, gradually declining body that has the Ravens justifiably hesitant. It may not matter, though, because according to the aforementioned family member who spoke to Jason La Canfora from CBSSports.com, any holdout by Reed during training camp will be brief, and it’ll amount to only a minor leverage play.

In fact, it likely won’t even come to that.

From La Canfora:

“Everyone is talking about a holdout,” said one of Reed’s close family members. “Ed isn’t going to hold out. He told me he isn’t going to hold out. He speaks his mind about some things, gets some things off his chest, but he’s never said he is going to hold out. He’ll show up when he has to be there and he’ll play out his contract.”

Reed has used his new-found Twitter hobby to speak quite openly and frankly about his contract situation, and he also told the Baltimore Sun about his belief that often a holdout is a players’ best–and sometimes only–source of leverage. While he’s definitely free and very much encouraged to speak his mind online and elsewhere because that’s much better than tweeting something about rising and grinding, all we’ve done with his messages is connect the dots he’s given us.

So if this is a little stunt and we’ve all just helped Reed in his efforts to send a very public message to his superiors, then I want a cut of his next contract. It’s only fair.

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