Will Ed Reed show up at Ravens training camp at the end of the month? The Pro Bowl free safety gave us another tea leaf to read Saturday evening when he sent this message to his “bosses” via his Twitter account.
“Back home with my son, he's riding his bike [and] I'm doing yard work! Tell the bosses I'm comfortable!”
Though Reed was clearly trying to catch the Ravens’ attention with the Tweet, I would caution against reading too much into one Tweet. Why do I say that? Because it’s Reed. I would caution against reading too much into anything Reed says, at least when it comes to his playing status. And that’s not meant to disrespect Reed; it's just that his actions have always spoken louder than his words.
That’s why Ray Lewis said he expects Reed to be at camp.
"I talk to him all the time. I don't expect nothing different," the inside linebacker said when Reed skipped the team's mandatory minicamp last month. "Ed is Ed and when July 25th comes up, Ed will be here and we'll be getting ready to roll."
Reed will host his annual football camp next week at Stevenson University, so we should get an update from him then about whether he is 100 percent committed to playing. He will make $7.2 million in 2012, the final year of his deal. Reed has mostly danced around questions about his contract -- instead saying he just wants respect -- though he did say three months ago that he was open to discussing an extension to “help the team.”
But at this point, nearly three months removed from the start of free agency, the best way he can help the team is by simply showing up at training camp. Few, if any, players can match Reed’s range and intelligence in the secondary, but the Ravens don’t appear to have a starting-caliber player behind him on the depth chart.
Sean Considine, whom the Ravens signed this offseason to bolster their special teams, has started 28 games in the NFL, but only five were at free safety. Fourth-round draft pick Christian Thompson is unproven, as is third-year player Emanuel Cook.
In other words, Reed might be comfortable, but his bosses will be quite the opposite if he doesn’t show up to play ball this summer.
Update (5:30 p.m.) -- Reed Tweeted the following after his Tweet over the weekend became blog fodder here and on national NFL blogs such as Pro Football Talk and NFL's Around the League:
"Players that have [to] be smart business men,in a business that don't care an inch about them though we grind for that inch [not always right but real]."