Tag Archive | "houston"

Ravens to add retired linebacker Lewis to Ring of Honor

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Ravens to add retired linebacker Lewis to Ring of Honor

Posted on 15 July 2013 by Luke Jones

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The last time we saw Ray Lewis at M&T Bank Stadium, he was dancing a final time while holding the Vince Lombardi Trophy just two days after the Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII victory.

The retired inside linebacker won’t have to wait long to enter the team’s Ring of Honor as the Ravens announced Monday that Lewis will be inducted on Sept. 22 during a Week 3 contest with the Houston Texans. Of course, that means former Ravens safety and Lewis’ longtime teammate Ed Reed will be on the opposing sideline in his first visit to Baltimore since departing via free agency this offseason.

Owner Steve Bisciotti has already said the organization plans to build a statue in honor of the 17-year linebacker, who retired after helping lead the Ravens to their second Super Bowl championship. The statue will not be ready for Lewis’ Week 3 ceremony.

Lewis becomes the seventh Ravens player to receive the honor, joining 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Jonathan Ogden, Peter Boulware, Jamal Lewis, Michael McCrary, Matt Stover, and Earnest Byner. Late owner Art Modell and eight Baltimore Colts are also members of the Ring of Honor.

A two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and 13-time Pro Bowl selection, Lewis is eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018.

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New safety Huff willingly taking torch in replacing Ravens legend

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New safety Huff willingly taking torch in replacing Ravens legend

Posted on 28 March 2013 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Replacing a legend isn’t easy, but new Ravens safety Michael Huff is looking to carve out his own niche in the tradition of great Baltimore defense.

The 30-year-old met with the local media for the first time Thursday after passing his physical and officially signing a three-year, $6 million contract and didn’t shy away from recognizing the crater left behind by future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed, who signed a three-year, $15 million deal to join the Houston Texans last week. In fact, Huff has kept in contact with Reed via text messages in a symbolic passing of the torch.

Huff knows he can’t truly replace the nine-time Pro Bowl safety, but the 2005 Jim Thorpe Award winner and seventh overall pick of the 2006 draft is eager to maintain the level of strong play found in the Ravens secondary for over a decade. And it may provide the opportunity for Huff to break free from the black cloud of the Raiders organization after never experience a winning season in seven campaigns in the AFC West.

“It means a lot,” Huff said. “He’s one of the greatest — if not the greatest — free safety to ever play the game. I talked to him last night. I told him I’d carry on his legacy and carry on the tradition of great safeties in Baltimore. I’m definitely going to go out there and hold up my end.”

He may not have fulfilled the great promised he once showed as a star for the Longhorns, but Huff is happy to be in Baltimore seven years after general manager Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens showed interest in him leading up to the 2006 draft.

Huff is expected to start at free safety, but the University of Texas product views himself as a Swiss army knife in the secondary, evident last season when he made 14 starts at cornerback due to a high number of injuries in the Oakland secondary. It’s a valuable asset to have on game day when a team is limited to just 46 active players and is only an injury or two away from having a major predicament at any given position on the field.

“I’m going to go out there and play free safety, play strong safety, play corner if they need me to, to play nickel if they need me to,” Huff said. “I’m going to do whatever I can to help the defense and help us win.”

Joining a group of safeties with only one other veteran — 29-year-old James Ihedigbo — Huff said Thursday that he won’t shy away from mentoring younger players such as Christian Thompson, Omar Brown, Emanuel Cook, and Anthony Levine. Linked by their respective collegiate careers at Texas, Huff and cornerback Chykie Brown train together during the offseason.

It follows a predictable offseason script as Huff joins defensive ends Chris Canty and Marcus Spears and linebacker Elvis Dumervil as free-agent additions who will also bring positive veteran presences to a Ravens locker room that lost several leaders following the Super Bowl XLVII win.

“He fits us really well, both football-wise and technique-wise, the type of person he is, the type of family man he is,” coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s going to enable us to keep doing the things on defense that we have been doing and even build on those things.”

Moving beyond the iconic status of Reed after 11 years of the ball-hawking safety roaming the secondary for the Ravens, Huff might prove to be an upgrade over Reed as the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year turns 35 at the beginning of the 2013 season. Reed’s tackling issues aren’t a secret after a nerve impingement has taken its toll on his neck and shoulder and the 2002 first-round pick admitted himself that his range had declined in recent years.

The cheaper price tag for a younger player also didn’t hurt in easing the pain of Reed’s decision to join the Texans.

“I think the thing that stands out is you look at a guy in the back end who has a lot of range,” secondary coach Teryl Austin said. “He is a good tackler coming out of the back end, and he’s durable. He has played a lot.”

Having missed only four games in his professional career, Huff adds a dependable piece to the back end of a defense that lost Reed and strong safety Bernard Pollard earlier this month.

Huff won’t be confused with having the big-play ability that Reed displayed in his time with the Ravens, but his steady and safe style might just be what the defense needs after the pass rush was boosted with the signing of the three-time Pro Bowl selection Dumervil. The new safety is far more interested in continuing a winning tradition — one he never experienced in the abyss of Oakland — than personal stats or another big contract.

“It’s defense and just winning,” Huff said. “At this point in my career, it’s not chasing money. It’s not chasing things like that. It’s chasing that Super Bowl ring. I don’t think there’s any better place than to come here. Baltimore is that place. If you want to come here and win a Super Bowl, then this is where you want to be.”

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Reed proud to play final game with Ravens in Super Bowl

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Reed proud to play final game with Ravens in Super Bowl

Posted on 22 March 2013 by Luke Jones

It looked strange watching one of the greatest Ravens of all time with another organization, but the inevitable became official on Friday as Ed Reed officially signed a three-year deal with the Houston Texans.

Flanked by owner Bob McNair and general manager Rick Smith, Reed wore a Texans hat and a blue button-up shirt as he was introduced to the media at Reliant Stadium. He officially signed a three-year, $15 million contract that includes $5 million guaranteed before the Friday morning press conference.

“This is awesome,” said Reed, who cited being closer to his native Louisiana as a major selling point for joining the Texans. “From the first day of free agency, Rick called me and I think we both knew just from the conversation –  how things were going and how this could work — it just was a matter of time of getting it done.”

Reed said he spoke to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome, and coach John Harbaugh prior to the press conference. The 34-year-old took the high road in what was perceived by many as a halfhearted effort to keep the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year in Baltimore.

The nine-time Pro Bowl safety said the Ravens needed to make decisions and cited changes the roster has already undergone and implied his departure was part of that process.

“That’s 11 years that’s just storybook,” Reed said. “I’m proud to say that the last game was the Super Bowl [with] Baltimore. That will never be taken back. I’ll always be in that community and always be forever grateful to my fans, to that city, to that neighborhood, my neighbors, so many people.”

The 2002 first-round pick became the sixth key defensive player to exit the Ravens’ Super Bowl defense, joining linebackers Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, and Paul Kruger and fellow defensive backs Cary Williams and Bernard Pollard.

Reed complimented the Texans for “laying out the red carpet” for his free-agent visit last week and stated the first objective was bringing a championship to his new city. Houston’s reputation for already having a stout defense also helped in his decision-making process.

Experiencing free agency for the first time in his career, Reed acknowledged there were some business details to work out in explaining why he left Houston without a contract last week.

“I still love football; I know I can play football,” Reed said. “It just was a matter of being somewhere that fits — for me and the team. I think that the team knew what they wanted and understood that my fit into their organization was perfect timing. I prayed on it very hard and left it in [God's] hands, and He showed me well before it even happened that this was the home that I would be in next. It was just awesome to go from a great franchise to another great franchise and knowing that we had some classic battles when I was in Baltimore.”

The Texans are scheduled to visit Baltimore in the regular season in what will surely be a bittersweet day for both Reed and a fan base that adored him for the last 11 years. The date of that game will become official by late April, but it figures to be a game that earns consideration for national television.

Watching Reed hold a Texans jersey was strange enough, but imagining him running through the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium in another uniform is another story entirely. But it’s a reality that won’t change Reed’s adoration for the city that adopted him as one of its own in 2002.

“Football is what we do,” Reed said. “It’s our job and it’s a business, but the relationships that I have with people in Baltimore will never change.”

 

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Newsome, Harbaugh respond to Reed departure

Posted on 22 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Ravens General Manager & Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome:

“Our hope is that the Hall of Fame players we drafted could play their entire careers with us, but we understand why Ed is moving on to the Texans.

 

“He’s not the first Hall of Famer to move to another team. Tony Gonzalez is playing with the Falcons. Joe Montana played with the Chiefs. Shannon Sharpe and Rod Woodson played for the Ravens.

 

“How fortunate we were to have Ed with us for 11 seasons. He is one of the Ravens’ and NFL’s all-time greats. Words cannot measure what he did for us, including helping us win a second Super Bowl. We thank him for all he did for Baltimore. Ed will always be a part of the Ravens family.”

 

 

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh:

“Ed has had a major impact on our organization and our community. He is a great player and a great friend. We will always be thankful for what we accomplished together.”

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Former Ravens safety Pollard joining Titans

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Luke Jones

The morning after it was learned that longtime Ravens safety Ed Reed would be joining the Houston Texans, it appears his former partner in the defensive backfield will be moving into the AFC South as well.

Former Baltimore strong safety Bernard Pollard will join the Tennessee Titans on a one-year deal, as first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The reporter tweeted that Pollard informed her of the move Thursday morning, and Pollard’s agent Tory Dandy confirmed the news via Twitter.

The 28-year-old was released and designated as a post-June 1st release last week, meaning his $2 million base salary remains on the salary cap until that date. This allows general manager Ozzie Newsome to push $1.5 million in dead money to next year’s cap that otherwise would have been applied to the 2013 cap. Only this year’s prorated signing bonus amount of $750,000 will count against the cap.

In other words, the Ravens will receive an additional $2 million in cap space in June, which could provide flexibility in signing a veteran to address a need such as how they added guard Bobbie Williams last summer.

Pollard will join his fourth team in eight NFL seasons, leaving some to believe his strong-willed personality and outspoken nature led to his release, but coach John Harbaugh said in Phoenix that his release was solely a cap-related move. Veteran safety James Ihedigbo is projected to fill one of the two safety spots vacated by Pollard and Reed, but the Ravens are expected to address the position in April’s draft.

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Ed Reed leaving Ravens after 11 seasons

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Ed Reed leaving Ravens after 11 seasons

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Luke Jones

After a brilliant 11-year run that finally culminated with his first Super Bowl title in February, future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed is leaving the Baltimore Ravens to join the Houston Texans.

One of the best players in franchise history, Reed has agreed to a three-year contract to join Houston, leaving behind a legacy in Baltimore that included nine Pro Bowl selections and the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. The decision comes almost a week after Reed was courted by the Texans in a full-court press of wining and dining.

Reed traveled to Houston after being picked up from his Atlanta home in Texas owner Bob McNair’s private jet, an unprecedented move in that organization’s history of courting free agents. The veteran safety met with team officials and coaches before leaving Houston without a contract despite numerous reports that a deal would be finalized last Friday.

After the temporary hiccup in the Texans’ bid to bring Reed to Houston, general manager Rick Smith continued to negotiate with agent David Dunn at the league meetings in Phoenix this week. Meanwhile, the Ravens continued to wait out the process as reports came out about Houston’s offer. Owner Steve Bisciotti and coach John Harbaugh both expressed optimism earlier this week that Reed would remain with the Ravens.

The Ravens’ first-round pick in the 2002 draft expressed his desire to finish his career where it started, but the sides did not agree on fair compensation for the 34-year-old’s services as Baltimore gave no indication of matching the $4 million per year the Texans were offering. Aside from remaining in touch with Reed throughout the process, the Ravens never jumped into a bidding war for the longtime safety’s services as it became increasingly clear Reed would need to take less money to remain in Baltimore.

Reed cited Houston’s proximity to his home state of Louisiana has a plus in making a potential decision to leave the only franchise he’s known as a professional. The Ravens and Texans are scheduled to play in Baltimore during the 2013 regular season.

The free-agent loss of the ball-hawking safety is especially difficult for Baltimore fans with the retirement of inside linebacker Ray Lewis after the Ravens’ 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII. Many hoped Reed might follow Lewis into retirement after tasting championship glory for the first time in his brilliant career, but the former University of Miami star made it known he had more football to play in his career.

“I always said when I came into the league and got drafted that I didn’t want to be one of those guys jumping from team to team,” Reed said in New Orleans prior to the Super Bowl. “If it was up to me, I would be right in Baltimore. If it happens to be somewhere else, I can play football on the moon.”

Instead, he’ll play in a city famous for facilitating lunar missions as Reed will attempt to push Houston over the divisional-round mountain they’ve been unable to climb in the last two seasons. Those postseason failures included a 20-13 loss in Baltimore to end the Texans’ 2011 season.

General manager Ozzie Newsome addressed Reed’s future at the Ravens’ end-of-season press conference by acknowledging there would likely be opportunities on the open market as his six-year, $44.5 million. Further complicating matters at the time was Reed’s lack of an agent, but Dunn was hired to represent him before the start of free agency, a surefire sign that the longtime Ravens was poised to depart for the right deal.

“I think he realizes there may be some other options out there, but I think if you watched him and watched his body language over the course of the last eight to 10 days, that he loves being here in Baltimore,” Newsome said on Feb. 7. “I think we can use that to help make that relationship last a little bit longer.”

In recent years, Reed’s performance has declined due to a nerve impingement in his shoulder and neck suffered at the end of the 2007 season as well as various other ailments, but opposing quarterbacks continued to account for the free safety on every play. Reed’s tackling ability appeared to decline rapidly over the last couple seasons to the point of some wondering how much longer he can stand to be an every-down player, but his ability in pass coverage remains steady.

Reed has hinted at retirement on a few occasions over the last few offseasons while also dropping cryptic hints that he was dissatisfied with his current. However, Newsome and the Ravens would simply bite their tongue, knowing the mercurial safety would report to training camp. In his final season with the Ravens, Reed skipped a mandatory minicamp in the spring before ultimately reporting on time for camp in late July.

Despite the appearance of that rift, Harbaugh expressed Tuesday how much his relationship had grown with Reed in what would prove to be their last season together.

“He was a great leader. Our relationship has just blossomed,” said Harbaugh, who has exchanged text messages with Reed during the offseason. “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.”

Through his various physical challenges, Reed played in all 16 regular-season games in each of the last two seasons.

In 11 seasons in Baltimore, Reed tallied 61 interceptions, a franchise record and the most in the NFL since his 2002 rookie season. In addition to being the NFL’s active leader in interceptions – ranked 10th all-time — Reed has an NFL-record 1,541 interception return yards in his career.

In his younger days, Reed was the most dangerous punt blocker in the league and considered the Ravens’ biggest playmaker when his hands touched the football. He is the only player in NFL history to return scores off a blocked punt, interception, punt return, and fumble recovery. Counting the postseason, Reed has scored a remarkable 14 touchdowns in his career.

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Harbaugh “very hopeful” Reed remains with Ravens

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Harbaugh “very hopeful” Reed remains with Ravens

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Luke Jones

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.”

 

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Ed Reed resolution coming at this week’s league meetings?

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Ed Reed resolution coming at this week’s league meetings?

Posted on 17 March 2013 by Luke Jones

It looked to be a foregone conclusion last week that Ed Reed would be walking away from the Ravens after 11 years, but the free-agent safety never shies away from keeping everyone guessing.

Leaving Houston without a contract agreement after a two-day visit, Reed may determine his 2013 destination this week at the league meetings in Arizona as the Ravens and Texans are reportedly scheduled to meet with his agent David Dunn. It remains unclear how much the Ravens are willing to offer the 34-year-old, but general manager Ozzie Newsome has remained in touch with Reed’s representation since a meeting with the safety before the start of free agency.

It’s similar to how the Ravens handled the free agency of Ray Lewis — who was also represented by Dunn — following the 2008 season when the linebacker briefly flirted with the idea of joining another team before learning his value wasn’t as high as he hoped and he re-signed with Baltimore. Reed is believed to be seeking a salary approaching the $7.2 million base salary he earned last season, but his decision to leave Houston without a contract is an obvious sign the Texans’ offer wasn’t where he wanted it to be.

Or, he’s simply not ready to pull the trigger in leaving the Ravens behind just yet.

“Four years ago, we went down this same road with Ray,” Newsome told USA Today. “Dave always does a very good job of keeping us in the loop. That doesn’t mean that Ed will come back, and it doesn’t mean that he will leave.”

While some have opined that the Ravens are suddenly jumping back into the Reed sweepstakes, it’s unlikely that Newsome would enter into a bidding war for the nine-time Pro Bowl safety. The Ravens determine a value for each and every player on their roster and rarely deviate from that price, evident by their hardline approach in wanting to slash Anquan Boldin’s 2013 $6 million base salary by $2 million before ultimately dealing him to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round pick.

A potential Reed return will be far more about him wanting to finish his career with the Ravens and realizing the money may not be dramatically better somewhere else. It just doesn’t seem likely that Newsome would offer him a sexy contract because other teams are potentially in the mix and such a move wouldn’t jive with how the Ravens have handled their offseason in essentially sending the message that they’re starting over on defense after the departure of five starters from the Super Bowl XLVII team.

But as Newsome told USA Today, the Ravens want to be careful in how quickly they make the transition with their defense and Reed’s return — at Baltimore’s price, of course — would provide much-needed leadership as well as an opportunity for the future Hall of Fame safety to mentor an understudy to eventually take his place.

Dumervil in Ravens’ price range?

The unexpected availability of Broncos free-agent defensive end Elvis Dumervil was sure to spark interest from any team looking to improve its pass rush and there is “serious interest” from the Ravens, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Dumervil played outside linebacker in a 3-4 system under former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels and would certainly more than fill the void left behind by Paul Kruger, but it’s difficult to imagine the Ravens having the financial means to be serious players for the 29-year-old with several other areas to address including wide receiver, left tackle, inside linebacker, and safety.

In addition to Denver being interested in bringing back Dumervil since their renegotiated deal fell through after a fax machine fiasco on Friday — that resulted in the termination of agent Marty Magid — the Patriots and the Titans have also been named as teams with potential interest in the defensive end’s services. The reality is Dumervil’s new representation — reported to be Tom Condon and Ben Dogra — will not only be looking to recover the $8 million per year the pass rusher had agreed to accept from the Broncos but also to make their mark by fetching more money for their client if possible.

Those realities wouldn’t suggest the Ravens are a realistic candidate to sign Dumervil, who collected 20 1/2 sacks over the last two seasons.

What about the nose?

In an otherwise disappointing start to free agency with the Ravens seeing their roster gutted, Newsome has fulfilled his promise to address the defensive line by adding veteran defensive ends Chris Canty and Marcus Spears this past week.

Those signings leave the Ravens stacked at defensive end as the veterans join Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee, but nose tackle remains an area of concern after Terrence Cody and veteran Ma’ake Kemoeatu struggled to control the line of scrimmage as opposing teams had plenty of success running up the middle in 2012. Kemoeatu is an unrestricted free agent not expected to return and Cody has one year remaining on his rookie contract, leaving many to believe Baltimore will be looking for help in April’s draft.

One option the Ravens might consider is to move All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata to the nose tackle spot, a position he’s played in the past. Canty, Spears, and Jones are all defensive ends perfectly suited to play in a 3-4 front, but the Ravens would appear to have a surplus if Ngata is to continue playing the 3-technique tackle spot in which he lines up on the outside shoulder of the guard.

Defensive coordinator Dean Pees will use multiple fronts and the Ravens love to rotate linemen into the lineup to keep everyone fresh, but you have to think the Ravens have something up their sleeve for their defensive line or they wouldn’t have signed two veteran defensive ends after designating Jones with a second-round tender. Spears also dabbled at the nose tackle spot occasionally for the Dallas Cowboys, but Ngata would appear to be the best candidate to move.

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Reed leaves Houston without contract in hand

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Reed leaves Houston without contract in hand

Posted on 15 March 2013 by Luke Jones

After looking like signing a deal with the Texans was imminent after a two-day visit, Ravens free-agent safety Ed Reed did what he’s done on a number of occasions the last few offseasons by throwing everyone a curveball.

Instead of completing a deal with Houston as many expected, Reed left the city without an agreement in place. A deal isn’t expected on Friday, but the Texans remain optimistic in signing the veteran defensive back, according to multiple outlets.

Negotiations will continue through the weekend, but the 34-year-old left Houston without a contract in hand after the Texans wined and dined Reed on Thursday. According to the NFL Network, Reed spent roughly 4 1/2 hours at the team’s offices at Reliant Stadium on Friday before leaving the building without an agreement.

Meetings were described as positive and this doesn’t mean the safety won’t still sign with the Texans, but a full-court press was made by the organization to entice Reed to sign a contract before he’d return to his home city of Atlanta. After his six-year, $44.4 million contract officially expired on Tuesday, Reed began his free-agent tour on Thursday by meeting with Texans officials and even defensive coordinator Wade Phillips before spending the night in Houston.

Meanwhile, USA Today reported Friday afternoon that the Ravens and general manager Ozzie Newsome remained in contact with Reed throughout his visit with the Texans.

The Texans rolled out the red carpet for the nine-time Pro Bowl safety as the organization announced general manager Rick Smith was on his way to pick up Reed in owner Bob McNair’s private jet. Reports suggest the Texans have been hot after Reed’s services since the start of free agency on Tuesday afternoon.

“Both of us are contenders and want to get a championship, but we still have some things to work out,” Reed said to reporters upon landing in Houston. “Conversations have been great, amazing. We’re on the same page as far as what we need to get done.”

Despite dealing with a chronic nerve impingement as well as a torn labrum in his shoulder, Reed was one of only two players to make all 16 starts for the Baltimore defense and collected four interceptions and 58 tackles in the 2012 regular season. The ball-hawking safety also intercepted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the Ravens’ 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII.

Reed hired David Dunn to be his agent recently and has remained hopeful he would remain with the Ravens.

The 34-year-old acknowledged Houston’s close proximity with family living in his home state of Louisiana was a major selling point for his interest in joining the Texans. Reed spoke of the Ravens and Baltimore on Thursday much like a man who was moving on.

“It’s been a great ride,” Reed said in Houston. “The fan support has been truly amazing, a lot of love and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It’s definitely tough, but after 11 years, you pretty much understand things about the business.”

Visiting Houston is an obvious sign that Reed could be the next Baltimore defensive player to exit this offseason, but the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year also needs to establish a market for himself and determine whether the grass is greener on the other side in joining a new team for what will be his 12th professional season.

The situation has been compared to Ray Lewis’ flirtation with free agency following the 2008 season, but in this case, the Ravens have sent a clear message they’re essentially starting over on defense after the exits of Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard, Cary Williams, and Paul Kruger. The organization will depend on defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, linebacker Terrell Suggs, and cornerback Lardarius Webb — three of the highest-paid players on the team — to be the pillars of a defensive unit clearly in transition.

It remains to be seen whether Reed will be included in those plans — regardless of the cost.

But, for now, Reed remains without a home after looking like his trip to Houston would result in his official departure from the Ravens.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 12 February 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Northern Trust Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Pacific Palisades, CA), Champions Tour ACE Group Classic (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm Sunday 7pm from Naples, FL on Golf Channel), ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Yarralumla, AUS on Golf Channel); Women’s College Basketball: Clemson @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm from Comcast Center live on ESPN3.com), Maryland @ Virginia (Sunday 5pm from Charlottesville, VA live on ESPN2); Tennis: ATP Tour SAP Open (Saturday 4pm & 11:30pm Sunday 6pm from San Jose live on Tennis Channel); Boxing: Adrien Broner vs. Gavin Rees (Saturday 10:30pm from Atlantic City live on HBO)

10. Mumford & Sons (Wednesday & Thursday 8pm Patriot Center); Big Head Todd & The Monsters (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live); Crack The Sky (Sunday 4:30pm & 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Tim Reynolds & TR3 (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Brian McKnight (Thursday 7pm Rams Head Center Stage); Little Big Town (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); Anthony Hamilton (Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Howard Theatre); Soul Asylum (Tuesday 8pm State Theatre); Pentatonix (Monday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); the virginmarys “King of Conflict” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Can’t think of a bigger no-brainer than Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” having won Album of the Year at the Grammys. In fact it was such a no-brainer I was certain it would be messed up…

The name Tim Reynolds doesn’t jump out at you? Maybe this will help.

I honestly dig Little Big Town a lot. But nothing they’ve done has ever topped their debut…

The virginmarys were the last really cool band I heard in 2012. I will need this record.

9. Royal Comedy Tour feat. Sommore, D.L. Hughley, Bruce Bruce & Mark Curry (Friday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Seth Myers (Sunday 8pm Stevenson University Owings Mills Gym); Mike Epps (Friday 7pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Nick Offerman (Friday 8pm & 10:30pm Warner Theatre); Larry The Cable Guy (Saturday 5pm & 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); A Good Day to Die Hard” out in theaters (Thursday); Skyfall“, “The Sessions” and “The Man With The Iron Fists” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Glenn Clark’s Valentine’s Day plans (Thursday)

As you know, my Valentine’s Day plans don’t change much from year to year, even if I’m now celebrating as a soon-to-be married man. I put on a little D’Angelo, grab some massage oil and then head DIRECTLY to this…

It’s called “romance”, kids. Get in on it.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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