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Ravens Must Avoid Rice, Flacco, and Reed All Becoming UFAs

Can the Ravens Sign Rice Before the July 16 Deadline?

Next week is pretty huge one for the Ravens front office.

Imagine the Baltimore Ravens having to deal with signing Ray Rice, Joe Flacco and Ed Reed all in the same year. That could be the case if the team doesn’t strike a deal with Rice in the next eleven days or if they can’t reach an agreement with Flacco by the end of the 2012 season.

There is still plenty of hope that the team can first lock up Rice, as the deadline for him to sign (July 16) is fast approaching and no doubt that will put some urgency  into contract talks between the two sides. Even if they can’t get Rice signed to an extension it would be no reason to panic. The team could then turn to Flacco and attempt to get his contract finished mid-season since due to the Franchise tag they’d now had to wait until next off-season with Rice. The Ravens do have some history with getting deals done during the season with Chris McAlister, Peter Boulware, and Haloti Ngata being a few examples.

Both Flacco and Rice are the two jewels of the 2008 draft and both not only have plenty of good if not great football left in them as arguably neither man his hit his prime just yet. Ed Reed is an entirely different story.

Reed is a sure fire Hall of Famer, but he will turn 34 at the start of his eleventh pro season and has dealt with a variety of injuries the past few years from shoulder, to hip to neck ailments. Most recently, Reed skipped a mandatory three day mini camp held in June, no doubt as a way to show management his desire for a new extension as he heads into the final year of his last deal. Or does he plan to retire instead? Reed has never missed a mandatory workout before and Head Coach John Harbaugh had publicly stated that Reed was not excused from workouts nor had he communicated with him.

If Reed does indeed wish to sign one more contract before his playing days are over I would suggest that he honor the contract he’s already signed, communicate with his coaches, and pay his fines. I’m not sure why there’s so much mystery surrounding Reed when much of it be easily cleared up.

Of course there’s plenty of time for things to become much more clear and we should know a lot more in the next few weeks.

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