Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/27/12
The offseason for the Baltimore Ravens could come as early as two weeks from now or as late as after the Super Bowl. Ozzie Newsome probably doesn't want to see it come early for several reasons. Ravens superstar safety Ed Reed is currently at the end of his contract and will most likely be looking for an extension. At 34, Ed feels like he can play for another three years or so, and because of his history with the Ravens he'll indeed want good money. The question is whether the Ravens would be willing to pay him.In years past the Ravens have not blinked at cutting ties with marquee players for the sake of saving money. Willis McGahee, Kelly Gregg and Derrick Mason were all let out after the 2010 season because of salary cap negotiations and the situation for the coming offseason may be no different. Quarterback Joe Flacco is also ending his rookie contract and he hopes for elite quarterback money. Sources close to the Ravens organization say that if a deal is not done before March for Flacco he will most likely be franchise tagged and play out the 2013 season counting heavily against the salary cap.A potential option to the Ravens financial issues would be to part ways with both Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. Between their respective injuries, these once revered defenders have both slipped in performance, but that is what happens with age. Would Ray and Ed actually agree to restructure their contracts for the sake of the team, probably not. That being said, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are not just big name players. They have been the heart and soul of the Ravens for the last decade and parting ways would be crushing for them.Anquan Boldin, Jacoby Jones, and Vonta Leach's contracts all expire at the end of 2013 and they are due quite a bit of money. A total of five million would be counted against the salary cap if their contracts are not restructured. However these players would probably be more open to do so.  
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