Reed’s firing in Houston gives Ray Lewis even more value

November 13, 2013 | Drew Forrester

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.

8 Comments For This Post

  1. GilFromPerryHall Says:

    Lest we forget, Ray Lewis was allowed to “test the waters” prior to signing his last contract and he, at least, had the good sense, the right business advisors and enough humility, to recognize that the best path for his life was to remain where he established a legacy that is an increasing rarity in today’s transient, and ever upwardly mobile society.

    How is that for sentence run on?

  2. Dan Says:

    I think Ed gave the Texans some of what they wanted from him , something for their Hype machine in the off season . He prob. helped sell a few tickets . They knew his history and his age when they signed him . Most players don’t care about the green in the pastures as long as the cash is green and plenty of it.

  3. unitastoberry Says:

    I believe Unitas made the most money of his career in his 18th year? He was washed up too. His best attribute as a Charger was to coach up some rookie named Fouts who actually thanked John in his acceptance speech during his HOF induction! I don’t fault any player for getting paid. You put your life on the line every Sunday.

  4. The Armchair QB Says:

    Athletes hanging on too long is an age old (no pun intended!) story!Hard for most of us to understand how difficult it must be for someone to have to give up what he or she loves doing in the prime of life because of age/physical limitations! Particularly painful to watch a tremendous player like Ed Reed go out this way……

  5. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    I’m not going to trash talk Ed Reed, but he did look for 1 more payday. Some great college basketball played last night! I can’t remember the last time 1&2 4&5 ranked teams looked this strong.This just might be the best basketball season coming up in a long time.

  6. joe of bel air Says:

    Can’t blame Ed for a cash grab. It seems like everyone knew Ed was through after last season except the Texans. That’s why Pagano and Belechick passed on making a run at him. Had Texans done their homework and sent Ed for a complete physical before signing him maybe they would have found out Ed was damaged goods. I only hope Ed retires now. He has nothing left to prove

  7. Kolo Jezdec Says:

    Yeah, Mr. Reed now has the job I have always wanted. Walk to the mailbox every week and lift out a check for about $300,000.

    I doubt that Mr. Reed is much worried about losing the battle for popularity and value to Ray Lewis. Except for his induction into he Ring Of Honor, not likely to see much of #20 around these parts.

  8. John In Westminster Says:

    Who’s the “fool”? The injured and aging player or the organization who pays him? There’s a reason Houston is 2-7 this year. As UnitasToBerry points out, you can group Reed with Unitas. Frankly, this will be an overlooked/forgotten footnote on Reed’s legacy 5 years from now when he’s inducted into the HOF.

    Also, the Ravens did let Ray Lewis shop around a few years ago. And if Dallas was going to pay Ray over twice what the Ravens were offering, I’m fairly certain Ray would’ve been wearing a helmet with a big blue star to finish his career.

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