The Baltimore Ravens don't need Ed Reed

By jeffreykryglik
Evan Habeeb – USA TODAY Sports

I know it sounds like a good sentimental idea Baltimore Ravens‘ fans, but the Ravens do not need to add free safety Ed Reed to their roster and absorb the money that comes along with him.

Pro Football Talk already said Tuesday that Baltimore will not put in a waiver claim on the 35-year-old safety, and it will be interesting to see where he ends up, if anywhere. Keep in mind, he was just cut by the Houston Texans – this team has two wins and benched Reed for what he said was the first time since his sophomore season at the University of Miami (Florida).

What does that mean you ask?

The talent simply isn’t there and his physical abilities have diminished to the point where his value is minute to any franchise.

Reed was already virtually serving as a coach on the sidelines as his role with the Texans diminished so much on the field, that the future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer became frustrated with the coaching staff and asked why he wasn’t seeing the time he had anticipated seeing on the field. I think the decision was already predetermined when the Texans took D.J. Swearinger in April’s draft, but the organization hoped the 12-year-veteran would be able to serve as a mentor to the young defensive back.

Ed called out the team and called out the coaches after his team’s most recent 27-24 defeat at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals and maybe it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. After all, Houston gave him $6 million to make a difference in the secondary and he wasn’t even close to playing out that contract.

In Reed’s defense, I can’t fault a guy for trying to make as much money as he can in what is traditionally a short-lived career in the NFL He could play closer to where most of his family lives in Louisiana. He could earn more money to support his family in the future so that they don’t have to struggle like he did when he was growing up. Most importantly, Ed could try and make a difference on a franchise that was on the cusp of contending in the AFC, but clearly, that last point was missed by the franchise entirely as the Texans are a mess right now.

So… he’s available for any team to claim him. I still don’t see why the Ravens make the move.

Yes, rookie safety Matt Elam has been forced into the free safety role and while he hasn’t been great, he’s done a serviceable job going through the growing pains of a rookie season in the NFL. The question with Reed at this point is: Can he run?

It’s not that Reed wouldn’t know his assignments or alignments on defense, he just doesn’t have the physical tools anymore. It happens to all great players eventually and no matter the sentimental value he has with the city of Baltimore, it just doesn’t make business or football sense to attempt to bring back Reed at this stage of the game.

I can foresee a team like the New England Patriots pulling the trigger, but that’s probably it. The organization is full of contenders and champions in their own right. They already have a mutual respect for Reed and his game. They have a need at safety, although it remains to be seen just how much Reed has left in the tank. Finally, they still play the Texans and Ravens this season and it could assist their ability to scout these opponents.

With all of this happening with Reed, what does that say about Ozzie Newsome and Ray Lewis?

Ozzie knows when talent has been exhausted and Ray knew that his time had come. For those who were up in arms about losing the staple that was No. 20 on the Ravens defense for 11 seasons, consider the current predicament he finds himself in. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it may be time for Reed to hang them up and leave the NFL with his pride and dignity still intact.

Jeffrey Kryglik is a writer for Follow him on Twitter at Jeff_Kryglik, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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