What will Ed Reed find out there?

What will Ed Reed find out there?
March 8, 2013, 2:15 am
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If you love something, set it free …

Remember that one? The same advice about letting go in order to hold on could well apply to the Ravens and Ed Reed.

Jamison Hensley at ESPN.com suggests the Ravens would be best served by allowing their Pro Bowl safety to test free agency, citing how they let Ray Lewis see what else was out there in 2009 before re-signing him.

Reed should find suitors at least in New England and Indianapolis, both of which have much more cap space than the Ravens and could offer bigger deals if they wished. Of course, you and Uncle Tonoose probably have more cap space than the Ravens, who are reportedly at about $11 million under.

And a major difference between Lewis’ situation and Reed’s is you could well argue that Lewis was worth more to the Ravens than he would have been to any other team, but Reed could be a valuable piece for his former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, now head coach of the Colts, or his longtime admirer with the Patriots, Bill Belichick.

General manager Ozzie Newsome faces the difficult decision, but as Hensley writes:

” Newsome …  is the architect of two Super Bowl champion teams because he usually makes the right choice on the tough calls. The Ravens can't invest a big signing bonus to a player who is no longer a consistent playmaker, struggles at tackling and contemplates retirement nearly every off-season (except his free-agent one, of course) because of a nerve impingement in his neck.”

For his part, Reed told the NFL Network: "I am a Raven, plan on being a Raven. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. But if it happens, I am a football player. I can adapt to any situation.”

Can the Ravens count on a hometown discount? If Reed has proven anything is recent off-seasons, it’s that he can be unpredictable.