Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 27: Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens prepares for the snap during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 27, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have been the core of the Baltimore Ravens’ stellar defense over the past decade, but both players are aging and at some point may either retire or move to another team. CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reported on Sunday that the team is bracing for the possibility of life without both players. Lewis is 37 and has been out since tearing his triceps in Week 6. He is scheduled to earn $5.4 million next season, and LaCanfora says the Ravens are leery about paying him that kind of money to potentially be a part-time player. Additionally, the team reportedly is concerned that Lewis wouldn’t accept being a part-time player should matters come to that. Given Lewis’ age, there has been looming speculation that the 13-time Pro Bowler might retire after the season. We have heard that might be the case, though it’s possible he might want to return to play a full season rather than go out following an injury. Reed will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and the 34-year-old safety could be in for another long contract negotiation with the team. LaCanfora says Reed would not take to being franchise tagged very well. Reed mentioned the possibility of retirement in May when he was seeking a new contract from the team. He’s in the final season of a six-year, $44.4 million deal signed in 2006. Who knows if Reed will retire as he’s threatened, return to Baltimore, or sign with another team. What we do know is that Baltimore reportedly is preparing for a future without either player. The Ravens are 10-5 and visit the 9-6 Bengals on Sunday. They’ve clinched a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive season, but their defense has slipped from allowing the third-fewest points in the league the past three seasons to ranking 12th this season.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks about Eminem referencing her

WATCH: Dwayne Harris dirty hit on Nolan Carroll sparks fight

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.