Joe Flacco contract: Extension impacts Ravens' use of franchise tag

Maxwell Kruger-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Reed's days in Baltimore could be done.

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said Thursday that the team will not franchise any player if they can re-sign quarterback Joe Flacco, according to the NFL Network's Albert Breer.

That means free agents like safety Ed Reed and linebackers Paul Kruger and Dannell Ellerbe will be free to test the open market, unless the Ravens can lock them up prior to the start of free agency.

For more on the Ravens, visit Baltimore Beatdown.

The Ravens might not have much wiggle room if they re-sign Flacco. With about $21 million to work with (after Ray Lewis' money comes off the books) against the salary cap, signing Flacco would be tight. That wouldn't leave much room for free agents, let alone someone like Reed, who is likely to be courted by many NFL teams.

Reed has been one of the best safeties in the NFL since he was drafted by the Ravens in 2002. Reed is a nine-time Pro Bowler and a five-time first team All-Pro.

Reed has already said how he could "definitely" play for New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, but he backtracked on those comments shortly before the Super Bowl.

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