Ed Reed in Patriots' crosshairs

Ed Reed in Patriots' crosshairs
February 15, 2013, 11:30 am

The drumbeat for Ed Reed to the Patriots is pounding again. We likely will be hearing it until the Ravens safety’s contract for next season is worked out one way or the other.

At ESPN.com, KC Joyner writes that Reed represents the key off-season move the Patriots need to make to ensure they have a shot at the Super Bowl in 2013.

“The potential decline of Tom Brady and the fact that the distance between New England the rest of the AFC title contenders is likely diminishing means a return to the status quo won't be enough for the Patriots to earn a berth in Super Bowl XLVIII.  To do that, they need to find a way to sign Ed Reed.”

The rest of the NFL is looking at the Ravens’ cap-impaired situation knowing that plucking pieces of the Super Bowl champs’ roster is well within many teams’ reach.

Joyner says: “Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome has indicated he will not place the franchise tag on Reed, and at last check the Patriots had $18 million in cap space. In addition, as noted by AFC East blogger James Walker, New England will likely make additional roster moves to add more salary cap space, so the Patriots may be able to make an offer that the cap-challenged Ravens will not be able to match.”

The mutual admiration society between Pats coach Bill Belichick and Reed is well-known. Reed recently said of Belichick: “Man, I have so much respect for Coach and what he’s about: his discipline and his structure of what he has.”