Ed Reed is upset about his contract situation and making thinly veiled threats to hold out if a contract extension isnt forthcoming.
Is holding out the answer?
ESPNs Ashley Fox says, resoundingly, that it is not.
Holdouts rarely work, Fox writes. They are bad for players. They are bad for teams. They cause unnecessary distractions and can lead to even more issues, particularly when a player doesn't get what he wants, be it more money or more security.
Reed is under contract this season, due to make a healthy salary of more than 7 million. Yet Reed, who will turn 34 in September, is pining for an extension. He hasnt publicly made known what exactly he is looking for, but how long an extension would the Ravens be willing to give him?
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has said that the key to building a team is to pay ascending players, i.e. those whose careers are on the way up. See the large contract given to cornerback Lardarius Webb this offseason. Reed has been many things to the Ravens, but at this point in his career, an ascending player is not one of them.
Whether he wants to admit it, Reed is in the twilight of his remarkable career. The Ravens are not likely to give a long-term extension to a player who threatens retirement every year and will be 35 by the 2013 season.
So Reed, who has seen a pile of money thrown to Webb, and will likely see another pile thrown to Ray Rice and perhaps to Joe Flacco, wants to get in line for his. That is his right.
But holding out won't accomplish anything, Fox writes. Holding out only tends to make things worse. Doing so won't encourage the Ravens to do an extension. It will make them less inclined to do so. Reed would come off as selfish, as not a team player.
Fox notes that DeSean Jacksons holdout at the start of training camp last season was viewed as one of underlying causes of the Eagles disappointing season.
Jackson himself sounds as if he regrets that decision.
Looking back now it really hurt me more than I thought it helped me," Jackson told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Them feeling like me holding out was more of a statement and trying to prove something. ... The Eagles are a team you don't want to try to force anything with them or strong-arm them.
The same, certainly could be said of the Ravens. Reed would be wise to keep that in mind.