No news appears to be good news for Ravens fans hoping to see future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed stay in Baltimore.
While coach John Harbaugh said on Tuesday he was “very hopeful” that Reed would remain with the Ravens, Reed’s agent David Dunn and Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith continue to meet at the league meetings in Phoenix. However, neither side has been willing to budge as the Texans are offering $4 million per season, according to The Houston Chronicle.
Reed is seeking compensation more in line with the $7.2 million base salary he made last season before his six-year contract expired, making him an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. The Ravens have remained in contact with Reed throughout the process — including his free-agent visit to Houston last week — but are giving no indication that they’re actively bidding for the 34-year-old safety’s services.
“We’ll just have to see how it works out,” Harbaugh told WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio and other reporters in Phoenix on Tuesday morning. “I think it’s kind of a situation where we know Ed really well. Ed and I are very close, and I know he’d tell you the same.”
The Texans continue to negotiate with Reed in hopes of working out a deal to bring the veteran to a secondary that struggled down the stretch last season — finishing 16th in pass defense — and lost free-agent safety Glover Quin to the Detroit Lions. However, Houston owner Bob McNair proclaimed Tuesday that the Texans will not compromise their salary cap in future years to bring Reed into the fold.
For now, Houston remains patient, but you have to wonder how much more energy the Texans will spend after their full-court press last week only resulted in Reed leaving town without a contract in place. Never a team known for being overly active in free agency, the Texans must also address the contracts of their two best defensive players in the near future.
“You have to be cautious,” McNair told The Houston Chronicle. “We’ve got [Brian] Cushing coming up and J.J. [Watt] next year. We have to make sure we have enough room under our cap. I think [Reed] can bring some leadership qualities to our secondary, and that’s one of the reasons we’re interested in him.”
As the Texans continued to work on a deal, Harbaugh took time to compliment Reed’s work last season and reiterated the value he’s always brought to the Ravens. The coach said he’s kept in touch with his longtime safety with text messages throughout the offseason and shared how much Reed has enjoyed spending time with his son in his Atlanta home this offseason.
Harbaugh may have little to do with the dollars and cents that will make it work financially for Reed to re-sign with the Ravens, but it was apparent he wanted to show Reed plenty of love in Phoenix.
“He had his healthiest year that he’s had in the last few years,” Harbaugh said. “He was a great leader. Our relationship has just blossomed. It’s been good, but this year with Ed especially, we really just got close. The leadership he brought to the team through [the Ray Lewis injury] was really fantastic.”