Late For Work 7/18: Reed Turned Down Offer, Won’t Hold Out?

Flacco’s agent, Ravens to continue talks. Steelers passed on Rice twice. Hines runs scared.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 at 9:08 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Reed Turned Down Offer, Won’t Hold Out?

Two important news items surfaced in Jason La Canfora’s exclusive sit-down interview with safety Ed Reed after the youth football camp at Stevenson University Monday.

First, the future Hall of Famer won’t hold out of training camp – this is according to an unnamed family relative. Second, he turned down a contract offer the Ravens presented two days before the 2011 season opener with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Everyone is talking about a holdout,” Reed’s close family member told La Canfora. “Ed isn’t going to hold out. He told me he isn’t going to hold out. He speaks his mind about some things, gets some things off his chest, but he’s never said he is going to hold out. He’ll show up when he has to be there and he’ll play out his contract.”

Reed himself stopped just short of confirming that he’ll be at camp, but slipped in a little reminder: “I’m sure the Ravens are confident I’ll be there for camp, because they know how much I love the game, too. But I’ll say this, they’re not going to get me for cheap, not a chance.”

La Canfora reports there is still a “game of chicken” going on between Reed and the Ravens.

The team offered Reed a multi-year deal last September, according to La Canfora’s sources, that would keep him below $8 million a year.

“[It's] a threshold far less accomplished safeties like Eric Weddle and Michael Huff have reached,” wrote La Canfora. “From Baltimore’s perspective, Reed is much older than those two and has experienced serious neck and hip injuries in recent years as well, making an already touchy negotiation even more delicate.”

Making the situation even more sensitive is the fact that Reed doesn’t have an agent. The 11-year veteran, who is apparently “notoriously frugal,” is careful about who he trusts after seeing other players and teammates go broke by taking bad advice from agents.

“Do I have an agent? No,” Reed said. “I am him. Should I hire an agent at some point in time? Possibly. People say I should have an agent, but there are problems on the business side with that, too.”

It should be noted that La Canfora, who would be surprised if Reed held out of training camp for more than a couple days, made an effort in his story to explain Reed’s personality a little bit. If the All-Pro safety is an enigma to you (and you probably aren’t alone), the story helps give a little context about where Reed is coming from when he speaks candidly in public.

Flacco’s Agent, Ravens To Continue Talks

As all eyes turn to quarterback Joe Flacco’s contract now that Ray Rice’s long-term deal is complete, agent Joe Linta confirmed that the two sides will continue to negotiate.

“We’ve had great conversations, and we’re going to keep talking,” Linta told Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times. “Everything is good. We’re going to keep talking, keep the lines of communication open.”

That said, Flacco is letting his agent do all the negotiating while he focuses on the upcoming season and redeeming the AFC championship loss. The 2012 season is the final year of Flacco’s rookie contract and he is due a $6.76 million base salary after triggering a $5.4 million escalator clause, according to Wilson.

“Joe is very, very excited for the season,” Linta said. “He’s really adamant about getting the Ravens to the next step.

“The contract at this point is secondary to that goal. Joe has the attitude that he’ll earn it.”

Steelers Passed On Rice … Twice

After news surfaced in Baltimore Monday that the Ravens and Rice struck an agreement, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dan Gigler reviewed some of the damage the 5-foot-8, 212-pounder has inflicted on the Steelers over the years.

While Rice has had his ups and downs against the black and gold (both in the regular season and postseason), Gigler recalls Rice “single-handedly” making the Steelers defense look “old, slow and over,” in last year’s season-opener, notching 107 yards and a touchdown.

“For what it’s worth, the Steelers had not one, but two chances to select Rice in 2008, instead taking Rashard Mendenhall in the first round and Limas Sweed in the second,” Gigler wrote. “That’s not a jab at Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin. At the time, Mendenhall was very much the more highly rated back, and Sweed was seen as a steal in the second round, plus there were plenty of concerns over Rice’s diminutive size.

“Mendenhall, while having shown flashes of immense talent, is a bit more inconsistent, injury prone and occasionally flaky (see: Bin Laden tweets). Sweed is now out of football.”

Hines Ward Literally Runs Scared

Ravens fans used to relish the times when the Ravens could knock the smile off the face of former Steelers receiver Hines Ward.

For old times’ sake, you can literally see that smile disappear as the retired Ward runs scared in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. (Also featured prominently in the movie trailer below).

 

“I’ve run scared before, but I really ran scared that day,” Ward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “They told me, ‘Don’t look back.’ I felt the explosion when I was running. I had to wear earplugs. Usually, I’m smiling when I’m running, but that day I was actually screaming.”

Steelers co-owner Thomas Tull helped co-produce the movie, making Pittsburgh and Heinz Field one of the movie’s backdrops. In addition to Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Mike Wallace, and former coach Bill Cowher also appear in the film.

Jamal Lewis Talks Ring Of Honor

With the Ravens inducting running back Jamal Lewis into their Ring of Honor before the Week 4 matchup vs. the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Sept. 27, the team’s most productive back tells The Baltimore Sun what the induction means to him.

“To go into the Ring of Honor, it just shows that I’ll always be a Raven,” Lewis said.

“When I first came out of college, Art Modell and Steve Bisciotti gave me the chance to go out there and prove my ability. Everybody else pretty much had questions, you know. But I fell into a good family, we went on a Super Bowl run that year and won. It was a very memorable part of my career. And I love the time that I had in Baltimore. Art Modell and Steve Bisciotti were great owners and great role models.”

Quick Hits

  • @AdamSchein: [fullback Vonta] Leach on Flacco criticism: “Ed [Reed] isn’t in the huddle or meeting with us. Easy to say it is the QBs fault. The criticism isn’t fair.” [Twitter]
  • Guard Marshal Yanda was ranked No. 13 in Jamison Hensley’s top 25 players in the AFC North. “There’s no doubt that Yanda deserves to be in the top 15 in the division,” Hensley wrote. “He is one of the top offensive linemen in the AFC North this season and quite possibly the best right guard in football. …There’s no reason to believe Yanda will regress this season. He turns 28 in September and is a great technician. Yanda is in the prime of his career, which pushes him close to top-10 territory.” [ESPN]
  • @Crushboy31 [Bernard Pollard]: To all my teammates, we got new stools in today and here’s mine. Keep your butts off!!! Only my butt touches my stool. [Twitter]
  • @RavensInsider [Aaron Wilson]: Ray Rice’s $24 million guaranteed ranks third among NFL running backs behind Adrian Peterson ($36 million) and Chris Johnson ($30 million) [Twitter]
  • @QadryIsmail: Congratulations to my teammate Jamal Lewis for entering into the Ravens Ring of Honor! #Balla [Twitter]
  • Usually one wonders how professional athletes adjust to life when transitioning away from the big stage and fat paychecks. Not so much with Ricky Williams, who says he didn’t retire, but “graduated” from the NFL. Here’s an update on what the former Raven is up to. [Sun Sentinel]

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