Ed Reed, who at one time talked as if he was prepared to hold out or retire from the Baltimore Ravens — where he established himself as a Hall of Fame safety — now says he wants to and expects finish out his career there.
Reed, 33,showed up at training camp looking fit and said contract negotiations are already underway to lock him up for another few years. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year is in the final season of a six-year, $40 million contract and is due a $7.2 million base salary this season.
“Talks have already been there,” Reed said. “I want to be here. We will get that done when it’s time to cross that bridge. I’m good with football right now. I know the Ravens know I want to be here. I wouldn’t give myself to the football team like I do if I didn’t want to be here.”
It was somewhat of a surprise that Reed showed up on time for camp after bypassing on the mandatory minicamp in June and pretty much shunning the team all offseason.
“I’m here, man,” Reed said. “What transpired months back transpired. What happened because of what I had to deal with family-wise and what I’ve been going through for the last 11 years now in the league, you know it’s always a time when you have to assess yourself.”
Reed comports himself in front of microphones as he does on the field: recklessly.
“I choose to deal with it the way I deal with it,” Reed said. “That way, young guys know it. Their parents will know it. I’m not a guy who holds things back. That’s why you get what you get. And if I didn’t do it that way, you wouldn’t have the information to write about.”
Reed does not have an agent and surmised contract issues might have stemmed from his lack of representation.
“Being that I don’t have an agent, I don’t know how they’re going to go about it,” Reed said. “I know they tried to deal with things last season. That’s why the talks have been the way they’ve been. I didn’t want a middle man in between. I felt like I can handle it, but you do need somebody to kind of say the things you’re not able to say because you are in the business.”
Reed, who has 57 interceptions in his career, said he feels good and would like to play another few seasons. “But the body tells you something different,” he said. “There is a business side to it. Not every story plays out the way you want it to be. When we cross that bridge, you guys will know.”