Ed Reed: 'Goal is to play football'
In a statement obtained by the Carroll County (Md.) Times, Reed said he is, indeed, planning to play this season, and possibly beyond.
"It's not about retirement. It's about my focus in the offseason, health, family and football," Reed said. "This is the time of year where players think through things. My goal is to play football in the years to come."
Reed, who turns 34 in September, has contemplated retirement since the end of the 2008 season because of concerns over a nerve impingement between his neck and shoulder. He told coach John Harbaugh in February he was planning to play in 2012 and indicated he could play four to five more seasons when he was inducted into the University of Miami Hall of Fame in late March.
"It's still May," Reed said in the SiriusXM NFL Radio, according to a transcript provided by the Baltimore Sun. "I know that time is kind of inching away at me. We do have a mandatory camp coming up (June 12-14) that I'm still in deep thought about because other things are important to me now. I still know I can play at a high level. I can still go for another couple years physically. But other things is kind of taking place in my life right now and making me think about things differently."
"It has nothing to do with negotiating and all that, man," Reed said. "It's deeper than negotiating, man."
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Losing Reed would be a major blow to the Ravens considering linebacker Terrell Suggs' season is uncertain after the NFL Defensive Player of the Year tore his Achilles tendon this month.
Reed's future has become a hot topic recently. He previously said he feels disrespected by his current salary. Reed is scheduled to make $7.2 million in the final year of a six-year, $44.4 million contract.
"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," Reed said a month ago. "And I'm talking about at any defensive back position right now."
Health and durability are also concerns with Reed. He has missed 10 games over the past three seasons. And while he played a full season last year, it was one of Reed's most disappointing. He finished with three interceptions, his fewest in a 16-game season, and he acknowledged that he missed tackles in four straight games at the end of the season because of a shoulder injury.
When asked about Reed's future in March, owner Steve Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun: "We'll either have to get him signed to an extension, he has to say that he's done or we have to face the possibility of seeing him play in another uniform. That's the reality of this."
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