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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Report: Adam Wainwright likely done for the season

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

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.