Initially, Ed Reed sounded like he wants to play for the New England Patriots. A little bit later, the New Orleans Saints, being his hometown, more or less, came on the radar. The Houston Texans were next, and probably the closest to striking a deal with the free agent. Now, maybe he’ll end up returning to the Baltimore Ravens to retire with them.

Last week, it looked like a done deal – Reed was happy in Houston, meeting with team officials, and tweeting about how happy he is to be in the South again, ready to start a new and probably final chapter of his career. But there’s a big difference in how Reed views himself at the moment – not just a 34 year old safety, but a future hall of famer who is still an excellent ball hawk, not to mention a Super Bowl champion, and how teams look at him: A bit older, slower, not as good as before, and deserving of the money he wants to receive.

And that’s pretty much what is separating Reed from any team that wants to sign him. The Texans were willing to give him $4 million a season on a three-year contract; Reed thought it wasn’t enough. He is looking for a deal that’ll give him at least two more years in the league, not to mention somewhere between $6-7 million a season, something the Texans, and no one else probably, is going to offer him.

The Baltimore Ravens would like to have him back, but they’re in a tight spot when it comes to their cap situation. Reed made $7.2 million last season, and there’s no way in hell he’ll be getting that kind of money. Not even $6 million which he’s willing to drop down to. Still, if it means he can retire a Raven, seeing how the market isn’t exactly favorable to his demands, maybe he’ll be willing to give the Ravens, the only teams he’s ever played for, a hometown kind of discount.

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