July in Baltimore means two things: Hot weather and the start of Ravens training camp (… and both have been and still are major topics of conversation in the area!) Fans everywhere are getting their season tickets and pulling out their purple in anticipation of the start of Ravens football. I, like everyone else, am excited for football season but there are a couple topics that are being overblown that is making me turn the dial on the radio every time they are discussed. Ed Reed and Joe Flacco are being talked about 24/7 and neither should be the focus leading into training camp and it’s starting to annoy me.
I have been an Ed Reed fan ever since I saw him rip the ball from his teammate during a game in college and take it 80 yards for a touchdown. I was beyond ecstatic when the Ravens drafted him because I knew he would be great. Over the last month Ed Reed has been a lightning rod and many fans believe his actions and comments have tarnished his legacy. Let me say, those people are wrong.
Players in the NFL have no leverage when it comes to negotiating their contract other than holding out or threatening to hold out. And, as you know, tons and tons of players throughout the history of the NFL have done this. Sure Reed is making 7.5 million dollars this year but it’s his right to try and make more money and I don’t blame him for it all. Doesn’t everyone strive to make more money and get the best deal possible in their current career? It doesn’t matter that he is a millionaire so anyone who says “he already makes enough, he should just play” is unjust in their comments – that is how much athletes make and it’s a business, so why shouldn’t they strive to make the most possible? In addition to that, players can get cut or suffer a career-ending injury and receive absolutely no money from their contract because their salary is not guaranteed.
I do not think Ed Reed should be given a long term deal but the reasons behind that are his age, injury history and declining play. But does it make him a bad person for trying to get more money? Of course not. Another reason why I believe people are overreacting is because how have Reed’s comments and his “hold out” hurt the Ravens on the field? It hasn’t and it won’t. Reed missed a mini camp and the only thing that was effected was his wallet. When training camp starts Reed will almost certainly be there and come week one he will be taking his spot in the starting defensive backfield. Sure Reed’s comments are annoying and I would definitely like him to keep his mouth shut but I will certainly take someone running their mouth over someone who gets a DUI or arrested for assaulting their mother. Those are the people who are distractions and that should be run out of town, not Reed.
Another pet peeve of mine are quarterback lists and people spending their time worrying about where Joe Flacco ranks according to journalists in the hierarchy of NFL quarterbacks. Who cares if one person has him 9th behind Romo but ahead of Ryan while another has him behind both? Does it really matter? Why is the guy so underappreciated among fans? And why do people spend so much time nitpicking lists and worrying about where he ranks?
I have my own ranking for Flacco and that is 44 – for the number of wins he has in the regular season in his career. Last time I checked wins are all that matter. Stop complaining about where Flacco ranks on some media member’s list and start focusing on what he has done for this franchise. He may be behind Romo, Cutler and Ryan or whoever else, he could be ranked dead last by every media member, but as long as he takes the Ravens to the playoffs and wins playoff games he will be number one on my list.
The Ravens currently have issues like who is going to fill Terrell Suggs shoes, who is going to play left guard and if someone will consistently make field goals. This should be the focus of fans, not Reed’s “tarnished legacy” and Flacco’s position on quarterback lists.
So sit back, relax, pull out your purple number 5 and number 20 jerseys, watch your contending baseball team and start getting excited for football season.
September 10th is right around the corner and I can’t wait to be sitting with 71,000+ fans and chant REEEEEEEEEEEED!!!
Follow Marco on twitter @mromanell and SouthBmore.com @southbmore1