Add Ed Reed to the long list of ex-Ravens who left Baltimore for a different pasture and wound up looking foolish.
And, while doing so, Reed also stuck another feather in the career cap of Ray Lewis, who knew when his time had come and refused to do the one-time money grab like Reed and others have done.
Ed Reed embarrassed himself in Houston. Ray Lewis went out like a world beater in Baltimore, holding up the trophy and telling the city he loved them on a Tuesday afternoon last February.
Reed now joins the club occupied by guys like Ed Hartwell, Adalius Thomas, Bart Scott, Tony Weaver and plenty more. A few years from now when they all have their summer reunion of “The Guys Who Left Baltimore And Weren’t The Same”, Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger can share jokes with Reed about how they got paid and got laughed at when the well went dry quickly after they arrived in their new city.
It’s fair to note that Reed was at the end of his career when he left Baltimore for a one-time heist in Houston. A lot of others left here in their prime to try and “cash in” and wound up doing so — only to see the grass WASN’T greener on the other side. That said, a Hall of Famer getting $15 million for three years and not making it to Thanksgiving isn’t something to put on your career resume.
Ray Lewis, Super Bowl win or not, wouldn’t have been retained by the Ravens after the 2012 season. None of that mattered, of course, once “52″ announced his retirement last December, but had Ray wanted to continue playing into ’13 and beyond, some team – the Texans perhaps – with the thought they were “one guy away” would have ponied up money for the Hall of Fame linebacker.
Ray’s career ended the way he wanted it. In Baltimore. As a champion…with no regrets about playing a half-dozen games for the Dolphins or Cowboys or Redskins before Father Time brought him into the office on a Tuesday in November and told him to pack his bags.
Ed Reed’s career ended on Tuesday when a 2-7 team told him to get out — and keep the money he stole from them.
He’ll be a Hall of Famer, of course, and every highlight the NFL Network shows in 2019 or 2020 will have him making plays in purple, not in that incredibly gorgeous Texans helmet he wore for a weekend or two, but Ed Reed took the money from Houston and gave them nothing in return.
He might as well have worn a bandit’s mask to practice in Houston. When he practiced, that is.
Ray Lewis never, ever did that.
One guy was smart enough to know his playing days were over — and he ended it on his terms.
One guy didn’t care about anything except getting paid one more time. He won on that account. But he lost another battle with Ray Lewis along the way.
Ray was always just a little better, a little more popular and a little more valuable to the Ravens than Ed Reed.
A fact Ed proved for a final time yesterday when the Texans kicked him out.