The Baltimore Ravens have re-upped with Joe Flacco, and now their remaining in-house free agents will get their share of attention as the first domino has fallen. The defending champs have several key free agents, but there is one in particular who the Miami Dolphins (and their Dolfans) are watching closely, and that is former Miami Hurricanes star Ed Reed.
With or without the Flacco re-up I did not think the Ravens could afford to bring Reed back, but the fact that they did not have to use their franchise tag on their QB opens the door to use it someone else…for example Reed. I personally do not think the Ravens will go that route as they have legit contributors like Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Ma’ake Kemoeatu, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson, and Cary Williams who are without 2013 contracts so cap space is needed to address these guys.
Plus the Ravens are in flux on their offensive line so I think any of the minuscule space they have will be used to address their o-line (and sign a few of the guys mentioned above) as they are the guys protecting their massive investment (Flacco).
To tag Reed would mean paying him in the six millions, but he is surely looking for more than that if he is going to remain in Baltimore. I am not even sure the Ravens can afford Reed at a pay cut, but keep in mind they may be tagging a player who would now be disgruntled with his contract. Reed represents himself (I do think that will change, but currently he reps himself) and he has always looked to be paid for past performances so I cannot see him being pleased with a pay cut from the team he just helped win the ultimate prize.
If and when Reed does become a free-agent I think he lands in the AFC East. The New England Patriots are rumored to have at least $5 million for Reed. He would probably take a pay cut to join the Pats as he won’t have the “pay me for what I did for you” stance and he would be sure to finish his career with an annual Super Bowl contender, and I would think that the ‘Phins would be interested (I hope so anyway) plus I could see the New York Jets as a darkhorse. The Indianapolis Colts will be in play too (plus surely others).
The 11 year veteran is 34 years old, but he is still playing at a level where he will nab four to six interceptions each season, which would thrill Dolfans as Miami has zero skill in their secondary for creating turnovers. I think it makes sense for Reed to come full circle and finish his football days in Miami. Either way I cannot see him back in Baltimore, but I will be watching his free-agency closely.