OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed delivered a much different message Wednesday than his cryptic offseason comments where he hinted at a potential holdout and contemplated retirement.
Now, the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year says he wants to remain with the Ravens on a long-term basis and has communicated that desire to general manager Ozzie Newsome.
Reed, 33, is entering the final year of a six-year, $40 million contract and is due a $7.2 million base salary this season.
“Talks have already been there,” Reed said. “I know Ozzie and them know I want to be here. We will get that done when it’s time to cross that bridge. I’m good with football right now. I know the Ravens know I want to be here. I wouldn’t give myself to the football team like I do if I didn’t want to be here.”
Reed skipped a mandatory minicamp in June and remained away from the team for the entire offseason.
However, the eight-time Pro Bowl selection reported on time for training camp last week.
“I’m here, man,” Reed said. “What transpired months back transpired. What happened because of what I had to deal with family-wise and what I’ve been going through for the last 11 years now in the league you know it’s always a time when you have to assess yourself.”
Reed has always been outspoken and bluntly honest in his opinions, not concerning himself with being politically correct.
“I choose to deal with it the way I deal with it,” Reed said. “That way, young guys know it. Their parents will know it. I’m not a guy who holds things back. That’s why you get what you get. And if I didn’t do it that way, you wouldn’t have the information to write about.”
Reed has no agent to represent him, according to NFL Players Association records.
Reed was last represented by South Florida agent Eugene Mato, and his rookie contract was negotiated by Jeff Moorad.
“Being that I don’t have an agent, I don’t know how they’re going to go about it,” Reed said. “I know they tried to deal with things last season. That’s why the talks have been the way they’ve been. I didn’t want a middle man in between. I felt like I can handle it, but you do need somebody to kind of say the things you’re not able to say because you are in the business.”
Reed has intercepted 57 career passes since being drafted in the first round by the Ravens out of the University of Miami in 2002.
He’d like to conclude his career with the defending AFC North champions.
“I have a lot of respect for this organization, obviously, “Reed said. “They know I’m assessing myself year to year. Would I like to play more? Of course, but the body tells you something different. .. There is a business side to it. Not every story plays out the way you want it to be. When we cross that bridge, you guys will know.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)