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Pollard To Reed: Don’t Leave Me Hanging
With All-Pro safety Ed Reed’s repeated retirement talks over the last few years, he must drive the Ravens “absolutely nuts.”
At least that’s what Peter King of SI.com thinks.
Judging by some of the comments made by The Flock here at BaltimoreRavens.com, I’d say that’s an accurate description for some Ravens fans.
How does Reed’s back and forth affect his teammates, especially his partner in crime and hard-hitting strong safety Bernard Pollard, who signed a three-year extension earlier this month?
“Oh, man, I don’t know,” Pollard said on a Houston radio station KILT this weekend, per sportsradiointerviews.com. “This is a business, and Ed and I have had these talks before, but whatever he decides to do, we back him 100 percent. The guy is a heck of a football player, he’s been a heck of a football player his whole career and for me it’s exciting playing with him.
“I guess I will put this out there, he better not leave me hanging so we’ll be alright.”
‘No Indication’ Ravens Will Dock Suggs’ Pay
Even though injured Terrell Suggs’ pay is the talk of the sports world, it’s apparently not the talk of The Castle.
Under CBA rules, the Ravens could place Suggs on the non-football injury list and not pay him all of his reported $4.9 million base salary this season because his injury occurred while away from the team facility and not under its direction
But The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec reports there has been “no indication” the Ravens are considering doing so. He reiterated that there has been “no internal discussion” among team officials about docking the reining Defensive Player of the Year’s pay.
As such, the Ravens are on the right course with Suggs, says ProFootballTalk.com’s Mike Florio.
“As we’ve said before and will say again (including right now), it would be asinine to punish Suggs … for getting injured while trying to get/stay in shape,” Florio wrote. “Absent evidence they suffered the injuries doing something reckless or risky, any injury sustained during any type of normal exercise (including basketball) should result in no consequence to Suggs or Peters or any other player.
“The Ravens have done nothing in recent years to suggest that they are stupid. And unless they know something the rest of us don’t about how Suggs was injured, it would be stupid to not pay him.”
Reed Using Suggs’ Injury As Leverage?
Is there a link between Suggs’ injury and Reed’s musing about retirement?
Earlier this offseason, Reed first indicated that he would be back for this season and many more to come. He later said he wanted a new contract and respect. After Suggs’ injury, Reed started with retirement talk, but then quickly backtracked after it created a stir.
It’s possible that Reed sees the loss of Suggs as leverage to get the Ravens to come to the negotiating table. But for his strategy to work, Reed has to make the possibility of retirement believable, says Florio.
“Reed surely still wants that new contract, and Reed seems to realize that, with Suggs injured, Reed suddenly has the leverage to make it happen — but only if he makes the Ravens think he’s serious about walking away,” wrote Florio. “The problem is that, like many other players, he loves the game and he can’t pretend he would retire when he knows in his heart that he won’t.”
“Don’t be surprised if the musings about possibly retiring continue, despite what Reed has most recently said. … The billionaires who own NFL teams didn’t become billionaires by not making shrewd business decisions. For Reed, it would be very shrewd — and justified — to make the Ravens sweat about the possibility of having neither Suggs nor Reed in 2012.”
T. Smith Looking Swank At Preakness
Ravens receiver Torrey Smith attended Preakness this weekend, where I’ll Have Another was victorious and began his final push for the Triple Crown. (By the way, how fitting was it that the Preakness winner was decked out in purple?)
Smith posted several pictures of himself looking all swank alongside linebacker Ray Lewis, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, a U.S. bobsled team gold medal winner and a shot from the stage. Check ‘em out.
‘Cathartic Moment’ For Ozzie
After former Ravens receiver Lee Evans let the game-winning touchdown catch slip through his fingers in the AFC championship, he sought out General Manager Ozzie Newsome the next day.
Newsome said that Evans came to him because the Hall of Fame tight end had endured so many painful memories with the Browns and perhaps he would have advice on how to overcome.
“As time moves on, it heals,” Newsome told Evans. “You will heal.”
But former Browns teammate Earnest Byner, whose career is defined by “the fumble” against the Denver Broncos, told Newsome that his advice misled Evans.
Newsome described Earnest’s response, who said, “Yeah. But you know what? You do heal, but it’s always there. Even though I got a chance to win a Super Bowl with the Redskins, it still eats at me what happened when we played against the Broncos.”
As part of an ESPN Cleveland’s “A Dinner With …” series, Newsome opened up about all the pain he endured. Beacon Journal writer Marla Ridenour described the event as a “cathartic moment” for Newsome.
“Two veteran Browns beat writers had never heard many of the stories Newsome told,” Ridenour wrote. “They practically came pouring out, tales of his 13-year career as a Browns Hall of Fame tight end and as the director of pro personnel in 1995 when owner Art Modell moved the franchise to Baltimore.”
Newsome recalled the disappointment and heartache of losing to the Broncos in back-to-back AFC title games in 1986 and 87. He remembered the somber mood throughout the city when Art Modell announced he was moving the franchise to Baltimore.
After Newsome finished commiserating with the crowd of 100 – which you can read about more in depth here – Ridenour wondered if the Ravens GM now has better advice for future players who might be suffering through football heartache.
“The point Byner made about what Newsome said to Evans might have stuck,” she wrote. “Perhaps in reliving his painful past, Newsome found the right answer for the next player who asks him how to cope.”
Clayton: Flacco Deal Will Come After Rice Negotiations
Providing an update to ESPN viewers, “The Professor” John Clayton explained that there has been no recent progress between quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens in contract extension negotiations.
And you may not expect any more progress until after the Ravens get franchised running back Ray Rice signed to a new deal. The deadline for Rice and Baltimore to come to terms is July 16.
“[For]Joe Flacco, [there's been] no progress as far as getting a deal done,” Clayton said. “[T]he Ravens are tight against the cap. Because of that, it’s very difficult to try to get something done. But at some point after they do Ray Rice, they’ll get Joe Flacco.”
Ed Reed earned the top single-game performance by a safety with his effort in the AFC divisional win over the Houston Texans in which he ended the game with a pass breakup in the end zone and then had to be helped from the field. “Performances like this are why it becomes such a big deal when Ed Reed even contemplates retirement,” wrote Khaled Elsayed. “By the end of the game his body looked broken, but Ravens fans would argue it’s worth it. He broke up three passes, beat Chris Myers (our top-ranked center) for a pressure, prevented Arian Foster from moving the chains on a third down, and – of course – had an interception. If he wasn’t playing, the end result could have been very different.” [Pro Football Focus]
RayRice27: CongratSRT @cbridner: Hey @RayRice27 my fiancé and I got our engagement pictures back and this is one of our favorites. [Twitter]
The players’ decision to fight the NFL for a reduction in their offseason workload in the new collective bargaining agreement, a fight they won, could end up costing Suggs and others who suffer non-football injuries. [ESPN]
Lewis visited the Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team before its practice last week to give a talk prior to the Greyhounds’ NCAA quarterfinals game. They went on to beat Denver over the weekend to advance to the Final Four. This speech isn’t as inspirational as the one he gave the Stanford basketball team earlier this offseason, but it’s still pretty good. [YouTube]