Hope everyone is enjoying the final days of 2012 and the last days of the regular season. Like most Fridays, the predictions post will be on the blog around noon and the Final Word will get posted at 1:30 p.m. The theme for today's wake-up call is uncertain future ...
RAVENS: Ravens safety Ed Reed, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, said he is unconcerned about his uncertain future. "My focus is finishing the season off right now and prepare for the playoffs and go from there as far as my future," Reed said, via The Baltimore Sun. "It's all about the near future. It's not about the offseason or anything like that." No one knows how the Ravens will handle this situation. It could be difficult to commit a big contract to an aging playmaker like Reed who is dealing with a nerve impingement in his neck and has contemplated retirement in past offseasons.
BENGALS: Defensive end Robert Geathers, the longest-tenured player on the Bengals roster who was originally drafted by the team, said the possibility that this could be his final game in Cincinnati is in the back of his mind. This is the final year of his contract. “We’ll handle that when it gets there,” Geathers said, via The Cincinnati Enquirer. “With what we’ve got going on, I’d love to be back. I would.” With the emergence of Carlos Dunlap, I'm not sure if Geathers is a free-agent priority for the Bengals.
STEELERS: Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau doesn't plan to retire even though he'll 76 at the start of next season. “That would be up to Coach (Mike) Tomlin. Let‘s just say I really like Pittsburgh and I really like working for the Steelers,” LeBeau said, via The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Coach Tomlin will tell you if he wants me back or not. It will be up to Mike.” Why wouldn't Tomlin want LeBeau back? The Steelers have ranked in the top five in defense the past six seasons, including No. 1 for the past two.
BROWNS: If the Browns want to keep Phil Dawson, they're going to have to sign the Pro Bowl kicker to a multi-year deal. There's little chance of putting the franchise tag on him for a third straight year because it would cost $14.6 million. “I know moving forward, whatever term I sign, I’m going to be able to outlive it,” Dawson said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “I’m not going to be one of these guys who holds on and holds on and holds on. So as long as I feel like I can play at a high level, I’m going to. With my family in Texas and me here or wherever, I’m not going to be away from them to play poorly.”