Let this sink in — This Sunday could be the final home game ever for Ray and Reed

December 19, 2012 | Drew Forrester

This Sunday’s battle with the Giants could be the game Ravens fans have been dreading for a long time.

Depending on what happens in Baltimore – and Pittsburgh – this weekend and next, there’s a chance you’ll be watching Ray Lewis and Ed Reed both play their final home game ever as members of the Ravens.

Go ahead and read that sentence again and let it sink in.

When you settle in your seats at 4:25 pm this Sunday, it could be the final time you see Reed and Lewis in purple.

Ray, of course, might not even play in the game as he continues to nurse an upper arm injury.  Reed, no doubt, will be on the field as the Ravens look to sew up their second straight AFC North title. But if the two do suit up and play and things don’t go Baltimore’s way over the next three weekends of football, Sunday could be the end of two amazing runs for those sure-fire-Hall-of-Famers.

A month ago, it looked like the Ravens would be guaranteed at least one home post-season game.  Now, it’s far from a certainty.  John Harbaugh’s team could still finish as high as the 3rd seed (by finishing tied with New England) or they could drop all the way down to the 6th seed (by finishing at 9-7 and tied with the Bengals and Steelers and with Indy winning one of their last two).  If Baltimore finishes as the 6th seed, they’d play away on the first weekened of the post-season and who knows what happens from there.

That makes this Sunday, potentially, the final home game of the 2012 season.

And that also means it could be the final home game in the career of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

Reed is without a contract for 2013 and it would appear, for the first time ever, that the Ravens are in position to seriously consider whether or not he could be useful in the future.  My guess, just based on a couple of conversations I’ve had with folks in the know at Owings Mills, is that the Ravens will not pursue a new deal with Reed.  Lewis has a contract for 2013 but there’s definitely a chance that Ozzie Newsome will bring Ray in for “the talk” and try to explain to him that his days as a full-time player – in Baltimore, at least – have come to an end.  Giving Lewis the respect he deserves, my guess is the Ravens would then allow him to contact teams and make his best deal for 2013 — which would include the Ravens getting a courtesy 5th round draft pick or something like that.

Ray could, of course, simply say, “It’s been a helluva run…I’m not going to finish in another uniform.  I’ll just ride off into the sunset like the champion I am.”

I’m certainly not saying this Sunday is, without question, the final home game in the career of those two.

I am saying, though, that it COULD be.

I’ve never said that before.

Or even thought that before, honestly.

But it’s the truth, as staggering as it might seem.

I sure hope this Sunday isn’t the final time we get to see No. 52 and/or No. 20 in purple.  If it is, though, it’s been one helluva run for those two.

In fact, we’ll probably never see anything like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed again.




7 Comments For This Post

  1. Robert Says:

    IF this Sunday is the last action we see out of the dynamic duo here in Baltimore, then I say thanks for the memories. Emotion aside, the Ravens & NFl football will continue. Further, I’m not so sure that either has been terribly effective recently. Cheers.

  2. unitastoberry Says:

    I was a 13 year old kid and was there to see Unitas come off the bench and throw his last Baltimore TD. It was a thing of beauty and brought tears to everyones eyes. I was at Westminster to see Ray take the practice field his first day in purple. Time marches on.

  3. The Armchair QB Says:

    In all probability, you’re right, Drew. Of course, many thought the same last year until both Lewis and Reed played “lights out” in the post season. Of course, that was last year and not likely to be repreated this year. You’re also correct when you say we will never see the likes of this tandem again! When the time comes,two thoughts come mind: “Parting is such sweet sorrow”, but also this one…..”thanks, for the memories!”

  4. charlie Says:

    well, gee whiz, drew, i was just getting my head right after sunday and now you come along w/a reality check! head hurts all over again.

    seriously, though, good point. we’re lucky to have enjoyed ‘our’ stars, and reed was one of the most fun to watch. ray — well, i’ll have to think about that another day.

  5. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    If this comes to be true then these two guys will join a great club of Super-Stars who made a living playing for Baltimore Sports teams. The list includes; Johnny U, Lenny Moore, Ameche, Gino, Berry, Donovan, Bert Jones, Brooks, Frank, Cal, Eddie, Earl and probably a few that I missed, NOT BAD COMPANY !!!

  6. bernard Says:

    Everything good & bad will come to pass. You can’t take pants off a bare ass & we can no longer wait for Ray & Ed to show up, change the game & make an outstanding performance. Ray I think would almost play for free but that Reed character is so over paid now & on his last legs, he could catch a ball if it were put in his hands or tackle a runner unless the runner tripped & fell down. The Ravens are hurt, weakned by inferior second string talent & now what has come to light is questionable coaching & leadership by Harbaugh. John was a special teams coach & maybe that is all he will ever be good at. I dunno but I will for this year & possibly next give him a little slack. The ranks of the Ravens have been picked upon like the bones of a carcass since they last won a S.B. I wonder how many other teams in the league have lost as many or less coaches as the Ravens. Say what you want but that guy up in N.E. Belecheck seems to reload regardless the amount of coaches or players he loses each year. Flacco is a good Q.B. but not an elite one. He holds on to the ball too long or can’t read defenses & is indecisive or is it that we have dummies for route runners?…Neverthless, I think we are in for a few years of really sucking.

  7. Chuck Says:

    Great HOF careers but these two should have have been gone a while ago. They are like the holiday guests whom you believe will arrive on Christmas Eve and leave on December 26, but then stick around until the bowl games on January 1.

    Even well before his current injury, Lewis has been unable to get off blocks, cover anyone and tackle. And their continued presence given cap constraints contributed to the departure of Ben Grubbs. How would Grubbs look on the OL right now?

    Belichik would have played hard ball with these two- accept a reduced salary or you are gone. Look at how he handled Wes Welker, a player who has 100 plus catches for five consecutive years. That’s what makes New England a great organization and the Ravens merely a good organization.

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