It’s still only Thursday of the week before Super Bowl week, and there’s still five days before media day when the locusts descend, and 10 days until an actual football game is played. And I’ve already developed an instant vomit reflex any time someone desires to tell me about how much Ray Lewis is either a great guy, or an awful guy.
This is not surprising. The opposite would have been surprising, as Lewis and something about two brothers coaching two different football teams were expected to be the dominant storylines during our collective two-week scrutiny of an event that’s only barely a football game.
Those two overwhelming talking points helped us to forget about another potential Ravens defensive retirement. And now we can continue in that effort, and forget the thought of Ed Reed not playing again, mostly because he’s forgotten about it.
Ed Reed said “I’ll be playing next year. Next question.”
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) January 24, 2013
Football fans usually enjoy watching talented football players do awesome football things. So in that sense, this is fantastic news. Reed has contemplated retirement during the past few summers, and now he’ll put his fade into the everlasting post-NFL twilight off for at least one more season.
There’s still the minor detail of who he’ll be playing football for next year, though. He was paid $7.2 million this year during the final season of a six-year contract, and although he’s still among the best players at his position, dedicating cap space of any significance to a safety who will turn 35 before next season isn’t generally a popular strategy among NFL front offices. Reed, however, should easily be the exception, and the Ravens will surely be aggressive in their efforts to re-sign him to a short-term contract.
But he’ll still draw heavy interest on the open market, with the Colts — led by Reed’s former defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Chuck Pagano — a widely rumored destination. Will the Ravens be willing to match Reed’s price if it’s driven up by Indy? Tune in for the latest episode of silly season shenanigans when our favorite offseason programing resumes in mid March.