OWINGS MILLS, Md. — An unsettling off-season for the future of safety Ed Reed grew more concerning for the Ravens on Tuesday.
Beginning a mandatory three-day minicamp in Owings Mills, the team was without its All-Pro safety as Reed did not appear for the first of the three mandatory days under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. Reed is subject to a fine of up to $63,000 if he skips all three days of the camp, but it is unclear whether the Ravens will follow through with the action.
Coach John Harbaugh briefly addressed the situation, pointing to the terms of the new CBA when asked whether he was concerned with the star safety’s absence.
“I have not communicated with Ed, so I’m not sure what the situation is on that,” Harbaugh said.
Reed has questioned his desire to continue playing while also expressing his preference for a long-term contract. He is slated to make $7.2 million in the final year of his contract this season.
While Reed has not kept in touch with his head coach, linebacker Ray Lewis offered clarity on the situation in revealing he’s been in touch with his longtime teammate. Unsurprisingly, Lewis downplayed the significance of Reed’s absence, insisting the safety is focusing on his family and will report for training camp ready to play their 11th season together in Baltimore.
“These three days won’t take away from what Ed Reed’s focus is,” Lewis said, “and that is to come back and help our defense be the best defense there is in football. I don’t think it’s an issue at all. Not for us.”
Also absent from Tuesday’s workout were left tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk. However, their reasons for not being on the practice field were different than Reed’s potential disenchantment.
“Bryant McKinnie is a guy we held out for conditioning purposes,” Harbaugh said. “We’re probably going to continue to do that and try to continue to get him into good shape.”
The Ravens awarded McKinnie a $500,000 bonus earlier this off-season but want to see the veteran shed pounds and get himself in better shape in the final year of his two-year deal signed last August. McKinnie recently said he’d like to be down to 350 pounds by the start of the season and weighed around 365 a month ago.
Birk had a surgical procedure on the varicose veins in his legs, confirming what Harbaugh told media earlier this off-season. The starting center is fully expected to be ready for the starting of training camp.
“Matt Birk had surgery last week on his legs; he’s got those veins,” Harbaugh said. “We tried to get it done earlier. We could not get it done earlier — whatever [the] doctor’s reasons there were. He was not allowed to fly this week, so he wouldn’t have been able to practice anyway.”
Defensive end Pernell McPhee was also missing from the practice field on Tuesday as he recovers from a minor injury. A Scout.com report says McPhee underwent arthroscopic knee surgery a couple weeks ago but will be ready for the start of camp.
Running back Ray Rice (franchise tag) and linebacker Terrell Suggs (Achilles tendon) were also absent from practice. Wide receivers Tandon Doss (undisclosed) and David Reed (torn ACL) and offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele (undisclosed) and Howard Barbieri (undisclosed) were on the field but not working.
Offensive lineman Jah Reid and cornerback Cary Williams (hip) returned to practice.