Media Duped By Ed Reed April Fools' Prank
Even when you know you have to be on the lookout, people like Ed Reed are still sly enough to dupe you on April Fools' Day.
The future Hall of Famer is keenly aware that the football world is awaiting his official retirement, even though he frequently indicates a possible return on Twitter. The 36-year-old safety wasn't signed to a team last season. The Ravens stoked interest in a possible retirement when they said they would like to induct No. 20 into the Ring of Honor this year for their 20th anniversary.
So, Reed pounced on easy, gullible prey.
"Just made it official! Thank u guys for all the support! #reeeeedtired," he tweeted, and has since deleted.
Reed later added: "I just got a call from a friend, I was in pool with my son got tired and decided those that support me should know first,done #twitterfool ..Love yall! #beastworkouttoday #couldleadtheNFLinInts"
105.7 The Fan radio personality and the head of Reed's charitable foundation, Glenn Younes, later tweeted: "My bro just won the Internet it's quite amusing."
It was indeed amusing because, just like any good April Fools' prank, Reed actually suckered fans and media into believing him. I'll admit Reed got me for a second, too. Here were some of the #twitteranklebreak victims:
Ozzie's Patience 'Pays Off' In Gradkowski Trade
Even before free agency officially opened, center Gino Gradkowski was dubbed by pundits as a cap-casualty candidate to create salary-cap space.
There's no doubt the Ravens really could have used the money, too. They were over the cap limit only hours before the new league year began and have plenty of depth behind starter Jeremy Zuttah with young offensive linemen John Urschel and Ryan Jensen.
But General Manager Ozzie Newsome stayed patient.
ESPN's Jamison Hensley says that patience "certainly paid off" Wednesday afternoon when Newsome traded Gradkowski to the Denver Broncos.
"When NFL free agency began, I didn't understand why the Baltimore Ravens were keeping Gino Gradkowski on the roster," wrote Hensley. "Three weeks later, it makes sense on why the Ravens held onto Gradkowski. [Newsome] got a little something for a player who didn't project to make the team because of his inflated salary.
"Newsome was willing to wait and see if some team wanted to bolster depth on the interior offensive line even though the Ravens could've used the extra cap room."
The Ravens sent Gradkowski with a fifth-round 2016 pick to the Broncos for a fourth-round 2016 selection. So the team essentially moved up a round draft AND the Ravens still gained about $1 million in cap space because Denver picked up Gradkowski's base salary. Baltimore reportedly has about $7.8 million in overall cap space now.
"That's a nice bump for a player who was on the field for eight offensive snaps a year ago for the Ravens," Hensley wrote.
Gradkowski started all 16 games in 2013, only his second NFL season, but was graded by Pro Football Focus as the worst center in the league that year. Baltimore traded a fifth-round pick for Zuttah the following offseason, and he took the reins from there.
While Gradkowski struggled in a starting role, Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison may have liked what they saw when they were coaching for the Ravens last year. The starting center job in Denver is vacant, and perhaps Gradkowski will get another shot to be a starter as he enters his fourth season.
"With Kubiak set to implement his zone-blocking scheme, it's possible he saw positive traits from Gradkowski," wrote NFL.com's Marc Sessler.
Mosley Had Offseason Wrist Surgery
Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley had offseason wrist surgery, according to The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson.
Wilson added that the Pro Bowl rookie is expected to make a complete recovery in time for offseason practices and workouts.
There's no word on what caused the injury or when it happened, but Mosley did play multiple games with his wrist and hand wrapped in a card cast last season. Mosley played the most defensive snaps (1,080) of any Raven last season, missing only 15 regular-season snaps.
He led all rookies with 133 tackles, which was also the seventh-most overall among NFL defenders. Mosley finished second behind St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, but became the first Raven to be voted into the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
TE Rob Housler Visits Bengals After Receiving Ravens' Offer
Veteran tight end Rob Housler seems to be shopping for a better offer than the one the Ravens reportedly extended.
Housler is visiting the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals Thursday after he had a dialogue with the Ravens and was offered a contract, according to Wilson. The report added that the contract offer with the Ravens could be revisited.
A 6-foot-5, 250-pound pass catcher, Housler ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.46 seconds)*among tight ends at the 2011 NFL *scouting combine. He only caught nine passes last year, but that was in a diminished role. He snagged 45 passes for 417 yards in 2013, which is about the same production that Owen Daniels had in Baltimore last year (48 catches for 527 yards).
Sharpe: Oh, Ozzie Is Going To Get A Tight End
Housler may not be the answer for the Ravens, but count Shannon Sharpe as one person who isn't worried about the position in Baltimore.
Almost a month into free agency without an answer at tight end, the former Raven Sharpe says it's only a matter of time.
"Oh, Oz is going to get a tight end," Sharpe told The Baltimore Sun. "If there was one person I was going to let pick my team, it would be Oz.
"He knows the value of a tight end. It might be a guy that you go, 'huh, who is that guy?' Then he is going to end up with 50 or 60 catches. Even if he has to find one in the draft, they're a going to get a tight end."
Sharpe was the Ravens' starting tight end during the 2000 Super Bowl season, and he and Newsome are enshrined together in the Hall of Fame in Canton.
Bengals Troll Browns With Logo Gag
There's nothing like watching two AFC North rivals take digs at each other on April Fools' Day.
Last month, the Cleveland Browns played up the release of their brand new logo, creating much anticipation. But when the logo was revealed, there was only a slight change in color and the watermark lost its black outline.
They set themselves up perfectly, and the Bengals decided to have a little fun. The Browns thought it was lame …
- Lardarius Webb may need to return to form to stick with Ravens beyond 2015. (To view video on a mobile device, tap the "View in Browser" button at the top of the page.) [ESPN]