For years now, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has terrorized opposing AFC North offenses while on his way to a career deserving of Hall of Fame consideration. With his contract up and the tread wearing thin on his tires, it appears that the Ravens could let him walk via free agency.
If he does hit the open market, Reed could potentially be headed for the AFC South to join the Indianapolis Colts.
Coming off of a miraculous 11-5 season, the Andrew Luck-led Colts will be looking to add the needed pieces this offseason to make a legitimate run at the Super Bowl in 2013. Especially considering they lacked a reliable playmaker on the backend of their defense, adding the veteran safety to the lineup makes quite a bit of sense.
Throughout the 2012 campaign, the Colts were forced to rely on Antoine Bethea and Tom Zbikowski at their safety spots. Although Bethea has proven to be a capable playmaker at the free safety spot, durability and inconsistency have become concerns. Zbikowski struggled to consistently make plays in coverage before falling to injury midway through the season. Sergio Brown eventually took over for Zbikowski, but wasn’t any better than the strong safety he replaced.
What makes this match even more likely is Reed’s relationship with Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, who served as a secondary coach and defensive coordinator for the Ravens from 2008-2011. The two got to know each during that time, when Pagano helped the Ravens reaffirm their standing as one of the dominant defenses in the NFL.
The only thing that could cause problems between a Reed-Pagano reunion is the terms of a new contract. It’s expected that Reed will ask for a long-term deal, which doesn’t seem likely considering his age and injury history as of late. The Colts wouldn’t be willing to invest so much time and money into a 34-year-old safety with significant health issues.
It’s still unclear whether or not the Ravens will be willing to spend the necessary amount of capital to keep Reed in Baltimore. If they aren’t, though, you best believe that the Colts will be in the mix for his services.