Ed Reed: "I'll be playing next year"
While it will be Ray Lewis' last ride with the Ravens, Ed Reed will be back.
Reed has complained about not having a contract beyond this season with the Ravens, but the soon-to-be free agent -- who has repeatedly talked of retirement for several years now -- made it clear that he'll be in uniform somewhere for 2013-14.
"I'll be playing next year, if that's what you're asking," Reed, 34, said during a media session Thursday as the Ravens rev up for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl vs. the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.
Reed, a New Orleans native, is playing in the Super Bowl for the first time in 11 seasons. The safety has dealt with torn cartilage in his shoulder since Week 3 and has been in the crosshairs of the league office for illegal hits on defenseless receivers, tallying more than $100,000 in fines though avoiding suspension.
He made the Pro Bowl for the ninth time, and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning still calls Reed "the best safety in football."
But his future with the Ravens is murky at best. Reed threatened to hold out of training camp if he didn't get a new deal, but it was a bluff. He reported on time and tied cornerback Cary Williams for a team-high 4 interceptions in the regular season.
In the season-opener vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, Reed returned an interception 63 yards for a TD to set an NFL record for interception return yardage.