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

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Western Carolina coach blasts Kirk Herbsreit

WATCH: Young reporter asks Helfrich funny question

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

Ravens 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!

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

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.