As complicated and conflicted as this offseason appeared to be for the eccentric Reed, things still seem so much easier on the field where he isn’t worrying about his contract or being disrespected.
The safety clarified earlier comments suggesting he had been treated improperly by the Ravens, saying all is amicable between the two sides.
“I have a lot of respect for this organization,” Reed said. “Obviously, they gave me a chance back in 2002 to come here and play. I know they have respect for me. The disrespectful thing that I talked about was something that was dealt with when it came to me seeing doctors and stuff like that. That’s something you deal with.”
Reed and the Ravens will have to deal with the subject of his future after the season in what could be an uncomfortable position for both sides. Given Reed’s age and deteriorating health, Newsome and the Ravens are unlikely to offer a lengthy deal with substantial guaranteed money. However, Reed has already suggested that he outplayed his expiring contract and will not come cheap.
It’s a debate that could turn ugly once again as the Ravens will try not to alienate one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise while also refraining from paying someone too much for past accomplishments. And Reed will have to weigh how strong his connection is with the organization that drafted him against the possibility of earning a bigger payday elsewhere.
For now, Reed will go back to doing what’s simpler and what he has more control over: patrolling the Baltimore secondary and getting inside the heads of opposing quarterbacks.
What happens after the season remains a much bigger mystery.
“I know the Ravens know I wanted to be here,” Reed said. “I wouldn’t give myself to the football team like I do if I didn’t want to be here. But there’s a business side to it. Not every story plays out to be what you want it to be. When we cross that bridge, like I said, you guys will know.”