Ravens face decisions on Lewis, Reed

Ravens face decisions on Lewis, Reed
December 25, 2012, 5:00 pm
Share This Post

While the focus on Ray Lewis lately has been on when he might be able to come back this season from a torn triceps, the question remains about what happens next season. If he wants to return, it could be an uncomfortable situation for the Ravens.

As reported by CBS’ Jason La Canfora, the Hall of Fame-bound linebacker, 37, wishes to play in 2013, according to what he has told friends. However, Lewis is scheduled to make $5.4 million next season. As one would expect of someone who has been in the NFL since 1996, Lewis is no longer the impact player he has been for so much of his career. Accordingly, the Ravens may not be interested in paying him that much money for 2013.

“Some in the Ravens' organization don't think it’s viable to pay him that kind of salary,” La Canfora wrote, “and wonder if Lewis would be able to come to grips with not being a guaranteed starter or full-time player after so many years as the face of the franchise. Lewis might have to agree to a restructured deal to remain in Baltimore.”

Would he want to do that? Or would he want to squeeze out as much money as he could in his last contract before retiring?

And then there is Ed Reed. The Pro Bowl safety is 34 and gave Ravens fans all kinds of agita in the off-season while making noise about wanting a better deal. His contract expires after this season, so he can hit the free-agent market. Do the Ravens put the franchise tag on him if they don’t need it for quarterback Joe Flacco?

“A long-term deal for Flacco could free up the franchise tag to be used on Reed, but sources said Reed would not take kindly to being franchised at this stage of his career, prompting another off-season stare-down between him and the front office,” La Canfora reported, also saying that other Ravens expect Reed to be playing elsewhere in 2013.

The coming off-season promises not to be dull for the Ravens.