After the Super Bowl ends and the offseason finally sets in, the Baltimore Ravens will be faced with several tough decisions regarding their roster for the 2013 season. A few big names will be up for free agency, including veteran safety Ed Reed, who is already being mentioned with the likes of the New England Patriots.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated talked about Reed's potential in free agency during the Pro Bowl on Sunday, discussing what will happen to him after the season ends. King called Bill Belichick the "president of the Ed Reed fan club", which leads him to believe the Patriots would be quick to sign him if he leaves the Ravens.
King also said he expects the Ravens to let Reed test the waters of the free agent market. They let Ray Lewis do the same thing a few years back, and he wound up returning to Baltimore.
At 34 years old Reed is still one of the hardest hitting safeties in the game today, an aspect lacking from New England's secondary. He brings veteran leadership along with a knack for making big plays.
Reed's previous contract was a six-year, $44.4 million deal he signed back in 2006. Right now he holds the highest base salary out of all safeties in NFL. Salary cap issues in Baltimore will surely allow a few players to look for new franchises to land with, and they may not be willing to dish out another huge contract to Reed, who will be 35 at the beginning of 2013.
As for New England, cap space isn't an issue right now. Wes Welker's contract may cost them some room if they decide to play the $11.4 million franchise tag on him. Still, Belichick seems like he would be willing to invest in Reed. The Patriots signed Rodney Harrison back in 2003. While he was younger at the time than Reed is now, the similarities are there. A hard-hitting veteran offers plenty of interest to Belichick.
If King is right about his prediction, Reed will be suiting up in red, white and blue next season.