- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The genius of Ed Reed lies on his ability to get in the heads of quarterbacks. But getting in the head of Reed is laborious, frustrating and often pointless.
In Ed Reed's latest interview (on a local Baltimore radio station), one point is clear: he is unhappy.
Reed wants respect. And how teams show players respect, according to Reed, is to pay them. Reed, who is entering the final year of his contact, feels he should get paid more than every defensive back because, well, he's Ed Reed.
But it's so hard to analyze his comments because, as owner Steve Bisciotti said this year, Reed doesn't give definitive answers.
Just listen to Reed's answer when he was asked yesterday if he plans on playing in 2012.
"I plan on playing, but everybody in the world knows plans can change," Reed told 105.7 The Fan. “I got some unfinished business. I got a lot on my mind I’ve been thinking about. The truth of the matter is, it’s about respect. It’s about getting respect, and it’s a business.”
My guess is his "unfinished business" has something to do with a new contract. What the Ravens are going to do with Reed long-term is going to be a major storyline next offseason. He said last week that he thinks he could play four to five more years.
Reed said he tried to rework his contract with the Ravens last year but “took the back seat” when negotiations didn’t go the way he expected.
“My plan when I went to negotiate was always, it’s always to help the team. I was not trying to break the bank," Reed said. "Do I deserve a good substantial amount? I mean you look at Peyton [Manning, Broncos quarterback]. Peyton got five [years] for $96 [million]? I know I’m not a quarterback, but at the end of the day … They pay certain positions certain ways. I’m different, man.”
Reed is scheduled to make $7.2 million -- which, by most bank accounts, is not disrespectful -- in the final season of a six-year, $44.4 million contract. But Reed could be feeling left out because the Ravens are in contract talks with quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice, as well as cornerbacks Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams.
“Honestly, I got to take a look at myself from the outside in,” Reed said. “For what I offer on the football field, for what I give on the football field, and for what they know they’re going to get, it’s much more than these young guys out here today and what they’re getting. And I’m talking about at any defensive back position right now.”
Reed also mentioned that he's been dealing with some comments made "from people who I work with."
"Whether they know it or not, they made them,” Reed said. “Whether you think I’m a business-minded man or don’t listen to you, I do. It’s not bad, but it’s something that you take to heart, because at the end of the day, I know I’m giving everything, and they know I’m giving everything on that football field.”
The Ravens face a major decision next year when Reed becomes an unrestricted free agent. Judging from his comments, Reed isn't going to be giving any hometown discounts.