Ravens head coach John Harbaugh mentioned that they intend to “work like crazy” to keep Ed Reed in Baltimore next season.
“We had that conversation on the bus ride away from the stadium actually,” Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun. “He and I both agreed that we want him back. I want him back, and Ed wants to come back.”
While their intentions are seemingly genuine, the issue really comes down to cap space and locking up QB Joe Flacco. Baltimore will already have to work just to figure out how they can retain Flacco and there’s a good chance that they might have to use the exclusive franchise tag on him, which will run them close to $20 million.
This makes it hard to commit to a player that will be 35 at the start of next season. Reed’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but the Ravens would run the risk of losing some solid young players in Paul Kruger, Cary Williams and Dannell Ellerbe by re-signing Reed.
Decisions like this are never easy for a team to make given how much someone like Reed has meant to their franchise. Baltimore figures to be the most talked about team of the offseason for more reasons than just winning the Super Bowl.
Yasinskas points to the fact that Reed is a Louisiana native and could be open to the idea of ending his illustrious career in his home state. Yasinskas adds that after a woeful season on defense, under the now-fired Steve Spagnuolo, the Saints could really use some experience on that side of the ball.
Reed, who had an interception in the Ravens’ 34-31 Superbowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers last night, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. The Saints are moving to a 3-4 base defense, so they’ll have to be careful with how they use their cap space in the coming months. Still, it’s an interesting idea, if nothing else.