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Late For Work 6/2: Is Ed Reed Making Wrong Decision?

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Is Ed Reed Making Wrong Decision?

Ed Reed isn’t ready to ride off into the football sunset just yet, and ESPN's Jamison Hensley says the future Hall of Famer is making the wrong decision for trying to extend his career.

The Ravens safety remains a free agent, but said Sunday that he is preparing to play in 2014 and feels he can still contribute on a team with the "right fit."

"Reeeeeeed" was greeted with a loud and warm welcome by 14,000 fans Sunday afternoon at Lardarius Webb's charity softball game at M&T Bank Stadium, and Hensley believes that would have been the perfect opportunity to announce his retirement.

"Instead, Reed turned out to be another NFL great who is hanging on for too long," wrote Hensley. 

Reed split last season with the Houston Texans and New York Jets. He was benched then cut by the Texans halfway through the season, and notched 38 tackles and three interceptions between the two teams. Prior to that, the Ravens allowed him to walk into free agency after an illustrious 11-year run in Baltimore.

While he will always be known as the best ball hawk of all time, Hensley says Reed isn't the same player that once struck fear into the best quarterbacks of this generation.

"He wasn't close to being that in 2012 or 2013," the ESPN reporter wrote. "For a player with such an outstanding football IQ, Reed just can't figure out what many others have already concluded: He needs to walk away from the game. 

"Reed didn't get the hint when the Ravens let him walk away in free agency. He didn't get the hint when the Houston Texans benched him and then cut him midway through last season. And he didn't get the hint when – as a member of the New York Jets – he misplayed the ball on Joe Flacco's 66-yard touchdown bomb in Baltimore last year." 

Reed doesn't want to attend any training camps this year, and his contract would not be guaranteed if he signed after the first week of the regular season. PFT.com's Josh Alper could see a team taking a chance on him after that with no money on the line if they chose to cut him later on.

If that doesn't happen, and Reed has seen the last of his playing days, The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec said that Reed looked to be "very much at peace" and was all smiles Sunday afternoon.

Turning 36 at the beginning of the season, Reed understands that teams may not be interested and he could be done. If that is the case, he said he will just disappear and nobody will hear from him again.

That would be a far different ending from other fan favorites like Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden. While Reed can't be a "Raven for life" like the other two who will be in the Hall of Fame with Reed, Hensley says it would be a mistake for Reed not to formally say goodbye to Baltimore.

"When he finally decides to call it quits, Reed should sign a one-day contract with the Ravens and come back to the place where he made so many memories," Hensley wrote. 

"Reed needs to take one more bow at M&T Bank Stadium. He may regret not doing so on Sunday."

Beach Club Denies Kicking Out Three Ravens

Despite a TMZ report and vague video that has spread like wildfire, the general manager of Seacrets said three Ravens were never asked to leave his Ocean City club.

GM Scott Studds said he's seen the report about Jacoby Jones, Jimmy Smith and Bernard Pierce "drinking too much" and wanted to set the record straight and vouch for the three players.

"I got the NFL] league office checking in with me and I just said, ‘[This isn’t right,'" Studds told Zrebiec. "These guys didn't do anything wrong."

A video accompanying the report shows a security official speaking with Jones, but it's unclear what is being said and whether the wide receiver is being escorted out. Studds told The Sun that the video was taken by a costumer, and security was asking Jones about an incident in the area where the Ravens were.

"There was incident in the area and a couple of those guys were asked if they saw anything or if anything was happening," Studds said. "It wasn't even an altercation. A couple of young ladies were saying guys were pestering them. [The incident] wasn't a big deal. It was [the Ravens' players] and other people that our guys were questioning."

The TMZ report noted that Smith was never asked to leave, but Studds said that was the case for all three players.

"We didn't kick any of them out," the club GM said. "We didn't ask any of them to leave."

Studds said the Ravens left on their own shortly after the incident, but they returned* *later that night. They never would have been allowed back in if the club had asked them to leave, per Studds.

He reached out on his own to The Sun because he felt like the story had gotten out of hand.

"This thing has gotten some legs obviously and I wanted to set the record straight," Studds said. "The thing has gotten out of control and what was reported was completely incorrect. They were not intoxicated or inebriated. They were fine."

After Studds' story broke Friday, Pierce retweeted it with a message to the celebrity and gossip website: "All the talk on @TMZ get your facts straight please and thank you"   

Ravens PR representative Chad Steele also retweeted the link to Studd's quote, saying it was the "true story about what happened."

Schmuck: Flacco Catching Flak For No Good Reason

Quarterback Joe Flacco continues to be criticized for not holding a "glorified game of catch" with his receivers this offseason.

You'll have a hard time finding anyone say that planning an informal workout with his pass catchers will have any effect on the season, yet the flak keeps coming, and The Sun's Peter Schmuck says it is for "no good reason."

"It would be funny if it weren't such a sad statement about the short attention span of sports fans and the public at large," Schmuck wrote.

"Joe Flacco has taken the Ravens to the playoffs five times in six years, reached the AFC title game three times and was named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player just 16 months ago, and he's still catching flak for not being enough of a leader. … To his credit, Flacco knows all this kind of scrutiny comes with the territory and seems to be at peace with that."

Hensley agrees the workouts would have little effect on the season and says there's a "level of absurdity" to question his commitment, but does think a workout would have been a symbol of his desire to do anything it takes to get the offense back on track.

After the Ravens gave Flacco a $120 million contract, Hensley wonders whether the Ravens might be somewhat let down that their franchise quarterback didn't get his receivers together.

"E]ven though no Ravens official has hinted at this publicly, you would have to think the team is a [little disappointed in Flacco for not having a fire lit under him after struggling last season." 

The Sun's Mike Preston says it's time to accept Flacco for who he is.

"When it's time to play football, Flacco is going to play hard," Preston wrote. "When it's the offseason, Cool Joe becomes Jersey Joe [spending time with family]. And it's probably not going to change. So, if you want Manning or Brady, move to Denver or New England."

Don't Read Too Much Into Rice, Forsett Splitting RepsDuring the first week of organized team activities, Ray Rice and newly acquired Justin Forsett were splitting first-team reps at running back.

Some have taken this to mean Harbaugh is punishing Rice for his recent off-the-field troubles.

"John Harbaugh is taking a 'hard line' with the members of his team who spent the offseason getting in trouble," wrote CBSSports.com's Will Brinson. "But no one expected he'd be going so far as to let Justin Forsett take first-team reps. That's happening though."

Nobody should read too much of the reps during OTAs, however. Backup Pierce still isn't practicing fully after offseason surgery, and splitting reps is customary this time of year, says The Sun's Aaron Wilson.

Don't Be Shocked If Ravens Give Winston A 'Look-See'

We are officially in the post-June 1 time of year, which could mean a small free agency surge.

Free agents can now be signed without affecting the compensatory pick formula, and Harbaugh acknowledged the team could add more veterans to help bolster the roster (think Daryl Smith last year).

While the Ravens are comfortable with giving second-year player Rick Wagner a shot at winning the right tackle position, there is one free agent that has worked with Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak that the Ravens could be eying.

"Don't be shocked if the Ravens, who still don't have a clear plan at right tackle, give Winston a look-see," wrote PFT.com's Mike Florio.

"There has been no movement yet toward getting involved with the former Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs starter," added Wilson. "However, there has been backchannel talk with Winston, according to sources."

Quick Hits

  • LWebb21: I wanna thank ALL my teammates and coaches for showing up and making my Charity softball game happen. Love making a difference in our city [Twitter]
  • Webb is determined to be a "lockdown" corner again. [The Baltimore Sun]
  • The Ravens were the first in the division to sign their entire draft class. [ESPN]
  • @Ravens: Happy 28th Birthday to new #Ravens center @JZutt7176 (Jeremy Zuttah)! [Twitter]
  • Former Ravens fullback Vonta Leach wants to let teams no he's available and ready. … @vleach44: #OVA #organizedvontaactivities  #NO  [Twitter]
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  • @MikeCamp_3: Sports Legends Museum With The Rookies! #RavenNation #TeamMelo #Greatness !! @ Sports Legends Museum… [Instagram]
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  • @sportswcoleman: The #Ravens Harbaugh demonstrated his power. [Twitter]
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