Reed Hires Agent, Could Also Join 49ers
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin is on his way to San Francisco.
Perhaps safety Ed Reed will follow.
That is what a source with “extensive knowledge” of the current safety market is telling ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio, who was the first to report yesterday of the possibility of Boldin being traded to the 49ers.
Turns out, Reed has hired an agent, David Dunn of Athletes First, who also represents close friends Ray Lewis and Reggie Wayne. And now that Reed has representation, his agent has been able to talk with other teams in advance of free agency, per league rules.
Reed has spoke with Ravens officials* *recently, according to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora, but is exploring his options on the market and is prepared to leave Baltimore “if need be.”
La Canfora didn't mention the possibility of landing in San Francisco, but speculated that the Dolphins, Patriots and Colts could all be potential destinations based on their need at the safety position.
"During the three-day negotiating window teams are not allowed to contact outside free agents directly, and thus, with many assuming Reed was still without an agent, some speculated he would miss out on this period of time to speak to teams," wrote La Canfora. "That is not the case."
Baltimore is still a possibility for Reed.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome has expressed optimism that the future Hall of Fame safety could return, and Reed has said he would like to come back.
"What I think happens with him will be similar to how the Ravens handled Ray Lewis where they didn't make him an immediate priority and let him check out the market with the Dallas Cowboys and look around, and then he came back," former sports agent Joel Corry told The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "With Ed Reed, I don't know if it will turn out that way because of his history with other coaches like Chuck Pagano having coached him in college and with the Ravens."
Benefits Of Trading Boldin
There are a number of people who don't like the Ravens' move to trade Boldin to San Francisco.
But the NFL Network's Albert Breer outlines the many benefits of yesterday's surprising trade:
- It's a financial win-win for the two sides. The Ravens didn't want to fork out the $6 million he was reportedly set to make (they wanted to pay $4 million), and Boldin wanted the entire $6 million he was due. The 49ers will pick up Boldin's entire contract, with no current alterations intact. Ravens former receiver Derrick Mason doesn’t think Boldin could have gotten $6 on the open market.
- The landing destination is a win-win for both sides. Boldin will be joining a Super Bowl contender, with an up-and-coming quarterback in Colin Kaepernick and a solid receiving corps led by Michael Crabtree. By sending Boldin to the NFC West, he can't hurt the Ravens unless the two teams meet up again in the Super Bowl.
- The Ravens got a sixth-round draft pick, rather than ending up with nothing, which is what they would have gotten had they simply cut Boldin (the Vikings offered a seventh-round pick).
- Baltimore can now put its best foot forward with linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent at 4 p.m. today. Ellerbe "had been on the back burner" while Ravens brass got its cap in order. With a reported $5.5 million in new cap space from the trade, the Ravens have some breathing room.
Boldin, who is in Africa doing relief efforts for Oxfam, said he was “shocked” by the trade.
Something Up Ozzie's Sleeve? Jennings? Amendola?
Outsiders now see a big hole in the Ravens receiving corps with questions on how to replace Boldin.
But those who know Newsome believe he already has a plan in place.
"I think that Ozzie Newsome has another move yet to make," said Bill Polian, a former NFL GM and Vice Chairman of the Indianapolis Colts. "What's Ozzie's next move? Could it be a free-agent wide receiver? It might very well be."
"Oz is not going to make a move without having another in place!" added Mason in a tweet.
Citing no sources, both Mason and Polian believe that highly-coveted receiver and potential free agent Greg Jennings is on Newsome's radar.
Jennings has been a consistent starter in Green Bay since being selected in the second round of the 2006 draft. But he only played in five games last season, catching a career low 36 passes for 366 yards, due to a groin injury.
Of course, landing Jennings, 29, seems to be out of the Ravens' reach because of his potential high price tag. But Mason explains why a marriage could still work.
"They did it with Quan 3 years ago," Mason tweeted. "Sign Jennings to a cap friendly deal with a nice signing bonus but contract will b back loaded. They can structure Jennings contract the way they did Flacco. Low cap number for a few years but big bonus. Think ppl it can b done."
Wilson had two sources point to another potential free-agent target in St. Louis Rams Danny Amendola. The receiver is only 27, but has durability concerns after missing three games with a broken clavicle last season and a broken collarbone ending his season after one game in 2011.
"Whether Amendola is in the Ravens' price range is highly debatable," wrote Wilson. "If the Ravens can somehow fit him into their budget, he would be a nice fit for this offense and provide an asset to quarterback Joe Flacco.
"The safe bet is Amendola winds up elsewhere, but he's a player that's firmly on the Ravens' radar that they'll monitor the market for as the free-agency signing period approaches Tuesday afternoon."
McKinnie: No Discount For Ravens, Already Did That
Hey, Bryant McKinnie.
You are set to become a free agent at 4 p.m. today; do you think you'll be back in a Ravens uniform?
"Possibly," he told the NFL Network. "They bought a Maserati, so they better pay for insurance."
Of course McKinnie is referring to the reported $120.6 million contract of Flacco, who will now need to be protected from the onslaught of pass rushers.
But the left tackle made it clear that to purchase his insurance, it may not come cheap.
"They already got me at the discount last season," McKinnie said, referring to his revised deal that went from a reported $3.2 million base salary to $2.2 million.
So no double coupon?
"No," McKinnie simply replied.
The Ravens have not yet reached out to the 33-year-old veteran, to his knowledge. And it doesn't appear many others have either.
"Quiet so far for Ravens tackle Bryant McKinnie, which isn't unexpected," tweeted Wilson. "He'll likely be more of a secondary market kind of target for teams."
Ravens Reportedly Sign WR David Reed
The Ravens' busy day continued yesterday with the reported signing of wide receiver and returner David Reed.
Reed agreed to two-year contract worth nearly $2.5 million ($500,000 signing bonus), according to Wilson.
The two sides came to an agreement rather than assigning a tender to the restricted free agent. Reed has struggled to stay healthy since being drafted in the fifth round of the 2010 draft. He spent 11 games on the physically unable to perform list with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in 2011. A fractured wrist/hand ended his rookie season.
If he can stay healthy, Reed offers plenty of promise. He led the NFL with a 29.3 kickoff return average as a rookie and he caught five passes for 66 yards in five games last season. He added four special-teams tackles.
Reed will provide depth at the receiver position and is a core special-teams contributor.
Cap Figure After Trade, Tenders and Signing
The Ravens salary cap number is very fluid at this point, as the team continues to make moves ahead of the 4 p.m. free agency start.
After trading Boldin to San Francisco, the Ravens were reportedly $18.6 million under the salary cap.
From that, subtract the reported assigned tenders to three restricted free agents and the signing of Reed:
Tight end Dennis Pitta: second-round tender worth $2.023 million
Defensive lineman Arthur Jones: second-round tender worth $2.023 million
Tight end Ed Dickson: original-round tender worth $1.323 million
It is unknown what Reed's cap hit will be in 2013, but Wilson reported it will be less than a $1.323 million original-round tender to incur cap savings.
So it is speculated that Baltimore is between $13.3 and $12 million under the cap. At least they will be once Boldin returns from his relief effort trip to Senegal for his physical to finalize the trade to San Francisco. He's expected back in two days.
"The Ravens will have to wait for the deal to become official to get use of the cap space generated by Boldin's departure, but shouldn't be hampered too* *much in other negotiations," reported ProFootballTalk.com's Josh Alper.
- @AlbertBreer: The Ravens and representatives for Dannell Ellerbe plan on talking tomorrow morning. Ellerbe is the top priority among the team's UFAs. [Twitter]
- @alexmarvez: If I'm a team with TE need, I strongly consider making an offer sheet to #Ravens Dennis Pitta with only 2nd-round RFA compensation required [Twitter]
- @jeffzrebiecsun: Since #Ravens won Super Bowl, R.Lewis (37) and M.Birk (36) retired, B.Williams (36) was cut and A.Boldin (32) was traded. There's also a better than decent chance that Ed Reed (34) leaves in free agency. Pretty easy to see what #Ravens are doing here. [Twitter]
- @TorreySmithWR: Watching that movie made me realize how special our season was...I will never play on a team like that again...Amazing [Twitter]
- Anquan Boldin trade a necessary evil for Ravens [NFL.com]
- Kaepernick on Boldin: "Great weapon for our offense." [ProFootballTalk.com]
- @Crushboy31Bernard Pollard]:[I hate the business side of this league! Don't get me wrong I understand it though. @AnquanBoldin you will be missed bro! Respect big bro. [Twitter]
- @TorreySmithWR: This business is BS at times [Twitter]
- @RossTuckerNFL: Joe Flacco just threw up in his mouth ... and then went to the ATM and felt better [Twitter]
- Florio says in the video below that Boldin felt like the Ravens took advantage of his loyalty to the team, after saying that he would retire if released. [ProFootballTalk.com]