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Late For Work 3/24: Ravens Awaiting Ed Reed's Retirement For Ring Of Honor Induction

Posted Mar 24, 2015

Misunderstood policy on player arrests. Internet praise. Stewart may yield pick. Amusing coaches picture.


Ravens Awaiting Ed Reed’s Retirement For Ring Of Honor Induction

The ball is in Ed Reed’s court.

With the Ravens’ 20th season coming, the team thinks this would be the perfect opportunity to induct No. 20 into the Ring of Honor. But they can’t do it until the future Hall of Famer officially retires from the NFL.

Instead, Reed has been hinting at a possible return to the field by tweeting about workouts and getting in shape this offseason.

“Ed Reed will be in our Ring of Honor, obviously. He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame,” Ravens President Dick Cass told The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec at the owners meetings in Phoenix. “The question is, he hasn’t officially retired yet. I don’t know if he’s going to officially retire this year or not. I would love to get him in to our Ring of Honor this year. It’s our 20th season.

"He belongs there, obviously. Our fans would love to see him. We would love to do it this year, but in some sense, it’s in his court. He knows that we want him in our Ring of Honor.”

Reed will turn 37 years old in September, when the season officially gets underway. The last time he played a game was in 2013 with the New York Jets. He previously left the Ravens in the 2013 offseason to sign a big contract with the Houston Texans reportedly worth $15 million for three years and $5 million in guaranteed money.

He didn’t play a full year under that contract as he was cut seven games into the season after notching 16 tackles, zero passes defensed and zero interceptions. He played better in a Rex Ryan system, finishing his last seven NFL games as a Jet with 22 tackles, four passes defensed and three interceptions.

Reed’s 11 years in Baltimore were historic as he set a franchise record with 61 career regular-season interceptions. The 24th-overall pick in the 2002 draft earned nine Pro Bowl bids and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2004. He is considered to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when he is eligible five years after his official retirement. 

Considering there could be plenty of transactions though training camp and just before the season starts in 2014, Reed may hold off until that time to make a decision. Could the Ravens make a turnaround that quickly and still put Reed into the Ring of Honor this year?

"It's possible," Cass told ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Ravens’ Misunderstood Policy For Player Arrests

The Ravens have seen three players arrested this offseason, and all three were promptly followed by releases from the team.

The swift moves gave the impression that the Ravens have adopted a zero-tolerance policy for player arrests, but Cass said that isn’t necessarily the case.

"We have to look at each case individually," Cass told Hensley. "We look at a number of factors and make a decision based on those factors. It's not a zero-tolerance policy at all. We're still going to be willing to take second chances on people if they deserve it. I think it's a mischaracterization to say it's a zero-tolerance policy."

Rather, Cass explained that the Ravens will weigh the positives and the negatives in each individual case.

"When it gets to the point where negatives outweigh the positives, we will release a player,” he said.

The three players cut from the team this offseason were nose tackle Terrence Cody (animal cruelty charges), cornerback Victor Hampton (driving while impaired charge) and running back Bernard Pierce (driving under the influence of alcohol).

The Ravens had five arrests last year, but didn’t immediately cut those players within a day of the incidents like this year. Two of them – Jimmy Smith and Lorenzo Taliaferro – are still with the team. Ray Rice and Deonte Thompson are no longer with the Ravens, but Thompson was released in September to make room for other signings. Jah Reid also spent last year on the roster, but he’s now an unrestricted free agent.

The Ravens’ three cuts this year were all backups and considered by some to be roster bubble players. It has begged the question whether the Ravens would release a starter if one were arrested.

"Depending on the severity of the alleged offense, it could apply to a starter," Cass said. "Each case will be different."

Cass admitted that he is upset with the arrests over the last 13 months. He and Ravens brass said at the “State of the Ravens” press conference last month that they hoped last year was an aberration. They made it clear there would be a shorter leash for off-field transgressions.

"The messages are still being sent. I just don’t know if they’re always being received," Cass told Zrebiec.

Cass added to Hensley: "It's very disappointing and very frustrating. Obviously, the number of arrests we've had, we need to re-examine everything we're doing to see if we can do something better. That's what we're trying to do as well."

It’s Comp Pick Time … Cue Internet Praise For Ozzie

It’s official.

The Ravens will get three compensatory picks, including a fourth-rounder and two fifth-rounders to add to their arsenal. That brings the Ravens’ total to 10 draft picks this April.

This marks the first time since 2012 that Baltimore didn’t get the maximum four compensatory picks. The reason it didn’t get the fourth was because Ed Dickson didn’t qualify as a significant loss when he signed with the Panthers.

That said, Baltimore still leads the league in all-time comp picks (44), which is nine more than the next in line (Green Bay). And that fact created some noise on Twitter last night:

Darian Stewart $4.25M Deal Should Warrant Ravens Comp Pick

The details of Ravens former unrestricted free agent Darian Stewart’s new contract have been revealed, and the numbers are high enough that they should result in a comp pick for the Ravens in the 2016 draft, says The Sun’s Aaron Wilson.

Stewart signed a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos that is reportedly worth $4.25 million.

The compensatory pick formula factors in how many quality players a team loses against how many quality true unrestricted free agents they sign. The player’s “quality” is, in part, defined by the player’s new salary and playing time with his new team.

Below are the Ravens’ losses this offseason:

WR Torrey Smith (five years, $40 million, San Francisco 49ers)
OLB Pernell McPhee (five years, $39 million, Chicago Bears)
TE Owen Daniels (three years, $12.5 million, Denver Broncos)
QB Tyrod Taylor (three years, $3.35 million, Buffalo Bills)
S Darian Stewart (two years, $2.25 million, Denver Broncos)

The only true unrestricted free agent the Ravens have signed is safety Kendrick Lewis at a reported three-year, $5.4 million deal. That could net the max four compensatory picks next year. Free agency isn’t over yet, however.

Amusing Annual Coaches Picture

I don’t know why this annual NFL coaches picture at the owners meetings amuses me so much, but it does. It just does.

There is something about squeezing 32 large and intimidating men into a family-reunion like photograph with scrunched shoulders and awkwardly-placed hands on their laps. Oh, and you can always count on somebody like Andy Reid to wear a classically LOUD, touristy Hawaiian shirt.

John Harbaugh is in the middle of the front row, sporting what looks to be some Ravens athletic gear. He looks like he just finished a workout, which is par for the course for a guy that looks like he’s in his early 40s but actually turns 52 in September.

Way to represent, Harbs.

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