Ravens could be without Ed Reed for the first six weeks of season

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Ed Reed #20 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the New England Patriots during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that Ed Reed (hip) will probably begin the regular season on the PUP list.

• Ed Reed, safety: The Pro Bowl safety is almost a certainty to start training camp on PUP. In fact, it would be surprising to see Reed play in the preseason. He recently said he is 35 percent recovered from offseason hip surgery. The most likely scenario is placing Reed on the Reserve PUP at the start of the regular season, which would mean he misses at least the first six weeks.

Ken Hamlin and Tom Zbikowski will battle for the starting free safety position in training camp and preseason. Hamlin has started in all but two games throughout his career, so he has the leg up on Zbikowski in terms of experience. But Hamlin’s production has decreased over the last couple of years, so it isn’t a foregone conclusion that he’ll win the job.

It’s a little odd that Reed told a local radio station in Baltimore a couple of weeks ago that he would like a new deal in place before returning to the field, even knowing that he’s doubtful to return anytime soon. Granted, he did say he wouldn’t push the issue until he was healthy, but he nevertheless has awful timing.

He still has three years remaining on the six-year, $44.4 million contract extension that he signed in the summer of 2006 – the same deal that included $15 million in guaranteed money. It’s not surprising that Reed wants to cash in one last time, but considering he’s not healthy and was even complementing retirement as recently as April, he’s not in position to be pushing for a new deal.

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Ravens forced to cancel rest of OTAs; did a player issue a complaint?

The Ravens were forced to cancel the final week of OTAs for violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s offseason workout rules, the Baltimore Sun reports. But nobody knows who issued the complaint that led to the cancellation.

It was determined that the Ravens violated the rules concerning the intensity and tempo of drills well as the length of time spent by players.

A complaint was received by the NFL Players Association, but it is unknown who issued it. The Ravens were scheduled to have a special teams camp on June 15-16.

Here is the joint statement from the NFL and the union:

“It was determined that the Ravens violated the rules concerning the intensity and tempo of drills conducted on the Club’s organized team activity days (‘OTA days’) and the length of time spent by players at the Club’s facility on such days.

“As a result, the Ravens will forfeit the final week of their off-season program (June 14-18, 2010). Ravens’ players are not permitted to be at the facility on those days, but will be paid for the sessions. The Club cannot reschedule the canceled days.”

A couple of years ago, several Lions players complained to the media about the degree of difficulty of Rod Marinelli’s practices during his first year in Detroit, although the team was never penalized. Players hate OTAs and training camp, so it wouldn’t be shocking to find out that one of the Ravens issued the compliant that led to the cancellation.

Either way, this hardly hurts the Ravens in terms of preparing for the regular season. While it’s always better for players to get as many reps under their belt before the season starts as they can, training camp and preseason is where jobs are won and lost. Plus, unless it’s a new coaching staff or scheme change, OTAs aren’t vital for veterans outside of making sure they’re getting into shape. They’re more beneficial for newcomers and rookies.

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Boldin skips Ravens’ passing camp

According to the Baltimore Sun, new Ravens’ receiver Anquan Boldin was a no-show at the team’s voluntary passing camp on Tuesday. Also missing in action were linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, defensive ends Cory Redding and Trevor Pryce, and running back Willis McGahee.

Seeing as how the camp was voluntary, it’s not a huge deal that Boldin wasn’t in attendance. Maybe he had a prior engagement and even so, I’m sure the coaches weren’t concerned. He also showed up earlier this month at the team’s mini-camp, so it’s not like he’s been a ghost since arriving in Baltimore.

That said, he’s a new player in a new offense and this was a passing camp. Wouldn’t he want to work with Joe Flacco as much as possible before the season starts? The Ravens gave him a four-year, $28 million deal when they traded for him in March and made him their No. 1 guy. That’s exactly what he wanted, so one would think that he would honor their commitment by showing up to a camp that would be beneficial to him heading into the season.

But I digress. I don’t want to make a big deal out of this because it’s not. It’s not a concern and maybe he’ll show up later in the week. I don’t want to put a negative spin on the situation and I realize that when training camp roles around, this won’t matter.

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Baltimore a landing spot for Marshall or Boldin?

General manager Ozzie Newsome told the media on Wednesday that he’ll seek wide receiver help this offseason for the Ravens, although he obviously didn’t divulge any details about how he’ll acquire said help.

Will Newsome make a run at Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall? It’s a strong possibility, as is the idea of the Ravens signing/acquiring either Julius Peppers or Elvis Dumervil to help boost their pass rush. At this point, nothing should be ruled out.

If the Ravens do decide to trade for a receiver this offseason, the general consensus might be that they’ll go after Boldin because he comes with less baggage. But don’t forget that Newsome had a deal in place with the 49ers back in 2004 for Terrell Owens before an arbiter squashed that deal from happening. Marshall is younger than Boldin and can likely be had for a reasonable price because everyone knows that he’s on the outs in Denver. So if Newsome feels that Marshall is worth the risk, then it might only take a second or third rounder to acquire him.

Newsome knows that the Ravens have a solid young core on offense and the defense is still good enough to make a Super Bowl run. If he can acquire a receiver of Marshall or Boldin’s talent, then he’ll be taking another step in getting Baltimore to the next level.

Update: Beat writer Mike Preston disagrees with the sentiment that Baltimore will be a landing spot for Marshall, even going as far as to say that he would be surprised if the Ravens pursued him this offseason.

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Ravens’ Troy Smith requests a trade

According to Troy Smith’s agent, the Ravens’ backup quarterback has notified the team that he wants to be traded.

From Rotoworld.com:

Smith “wants playing time” Cindrich writes, and plans to “seek (a) trade” after the Ravens’ playoff run. The timing here is hardly impeccable with just six days left before Baltimore attempts to clinch a postseason berth against the Raiders. Smith has rushed eight times for 38 yards and a touchdown this year, and completed 5-of-9 passes for 24 yards and an interception.

I agree with Rotoworld – the timing of this is horrible by Smith and his agent. Whether or not it was the agent’s idea or Smith’s, this looks bad for the quarterback that he would be thinking selfishly while his team is fighting for a playoff spot. I think he deserves a shot to compete for a starting job, but this was hardly the way to go about it.

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