The Baltimore Ravens‘ defense simply isn’t going to be the same in 2013; Ray Lewis is retiring and Ed Reed is moving on via free agency. The latter isn’t set in stone, but you can bet Reed won’t be playing in Baltimore this fall and his likely landing spots have been narrowed to two with one looking especially promising. Reed has already said he would like to play for the New England Patriots and now he has the chance.
Before the Super Bowl, Reed said he always enjoys his time with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick at the Pro Bowl and would “love to play for him.” If Belichick is willing to give a guy like Chad Johnson a shot in New England, he’ll definitely bring in a surefire future Hall of Famer like Reed to bolster his porous pass defense.
New England had the league’s worst passing defense in 2011 despite finishing the season 12-4. The Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since their defensive studs basically left and adding a ballhawking safety like Reed would definitely help them get back over the hump before the Tom Brady era ends.
Reed will almost certainly demand a high salary, but the Patriots have about $12 million in salary cap space that will likely increase before free agency begins in mid-March, so they should be able to afford him. With all the departures from Baltimore this offseason, there likely won’t be a third straight rematch between the Ravens and Patriots in the AFC title game. If Reed signs with the Pats, New England will be looking at one heck of a showdown with the Denver Broncos in January for a trip to the Super Bowl.