Continued reports out of Baltimore indicate that the Texans remain a front runner - if not the front runner - in the Ed Reed Sweepstakes. We've been down this road before. Best track to take this time around is to not pay any attention, and wait for Elvis' agent to fax us the news that number 20 is wearing Deep Steel Blue.
#ReedWatch ended for me last Friday afternoon with some major Battle Blue Balls. Not since my high school girlfriend, who wanted to wait until marriage, have I spent a weekend hobbling around as much as I did this past one. Neither revisiting that memory nor subjecting myself to another round of piqued expectations and sharp, physical pain was especially high on my list when I started writing on Monday. However, this column published last night in The Baltimore Sun forced my hand.
One of the main sources we've been following through this soap opera is a beat reporter for the Sun named Aaron Wilson. Wilson is the self-proclaimed @RavensInsider, and he has a solid reputation for being on top of his game. The first six paragraphs of his latest piece are designed to make us think Reed actually still wants to play for Houston:
As the Houston Texans continue to haggle with the agent for veteran free safety Ed Reed after his visit Friday, the Super Bowl champion Ravens haven't closed the door on trying to retain the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
To characterize the situation as a true financial competition would be a bit of an overstatement, though.
The Ravens' tight salary-cap situation could preclude them from making Reed a major negotiating priority. Plus, the 34-year's old [sic] age, durability concerns and decline in range could work against a reunion with the Ravens.
The Ravens would like to have Reed back, but not for $6 million annually and definitely not for the $7.2 million he made in the final year of his expired six-year, $44.5 million contract.
As for the Texans, a league source with knowledge of the situation characterized the Texans' initial three-year offer as low enough that a fast deal was unrealistic. Talks are ongoing with the Texans and Reed's agent, David Dunn, who has kept Ravens officials informed of what's going on as both teams and Dunn attend the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.
Players for both the Ravens and Texans remain hopeful that Reed chooses their team, but it appears that the Texans are willing to commit more money to the nine-time Pro Bowl selection.
I see only two actual possibilities:
1) This is a well-orchestrated plan by Reed and his newly-hired agent designed to leverage the Texans' interest in the Hall of Fame safety in order to milk every last drop out of Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.
2) Aaron Wilson is a real life Scott Templeton from "The Wire," searching for that big story that starts simple and metastasizes into something he never could have predicted.
The Wire — Gus Haynes Gets It Right (via TheStochasticSister)
Same newspaper, same too-good-to-be-true tale that turned out to be false, both white guys. The similarities are endless.
I'm over #ReedWatch. Someone just email me if he signs.
The NFL: It's Not the NHL Just Yet
The good news from the owners meeting currently underway in Phoenix: Roger Goodell said Monday that the postseason will remain something that is hard to make in 2013. The bad news: playoff expansion is probably coming at some point.
What Pastorini Wants, Pastorini Gets
A Minneapolis judge issued a landmark verdict against the NFL on Monday that struck a blow against the league's coffers. Jim Marshall hopes the ruling will resonate far longer and far more deeply than this play from 1964.
Jim Marshall's Wrong Way Run in 1964 (via Norsemanvike)
People wanting to profit from footage like this will now actually have to pay Marshall for it. That includes the NFL. Marshall and a group of five other former players - Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea and our own Dan Pastorini among them - filed a class action lawsuit against the league in 2009 in an attempt to gain some control over the usage of their images and likenesses without their consent. After four years and millions of dollars in legal fees, Goodell acts like it was his idea all along:
"We look forward to building an unprecedented new relationship with retired players that will benefit everybody, especially those who need extra medical or financial assistance." - Statement by Roger Goodell, March 18, 2013
Assuming everything is finalized as scheduled in late August, two basic things will come of this:
- The NFL must pay a $42 million settlement to retired players which will be put into a "common good fund" over the next eight years. Money from this fund will only be made available to retired players with needs relating to medical expenses, housing and career transition. I have no idea what this means, and am hoping Tim does.
- The NFL must pay to establish a licensing agency that will represent retired players as a sort of one-stop shop for anyone wishing to use their images or likenesses in the future. This makes a little more sense to a simple-minded man like myself, but again, am banking on Tim to explain.
"...whatever the rule is, it is," Kraft said in a recent interview with ESPN. "I will forever ... I have a picture, a big photograph in my office that Jon Gruden gave me with the snow coming down, and [Patriots quarterback Tom Brady] in that position. He signed it, 'It was a fumble.'"
So Matthew Hasselbeck goes to Indianapolis, Ryan Fitzpatrick to Tennessee and QB shuffle goes on.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2013
And of course, I leave you with another Texans Instagram Moment: