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Ed Reed's exit further weakens Baltimore Ravens

There's been nothing ordinary about the beginning stages of the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl title defense.

Ed Reed became the latest star defender to walk out the door, telling's Albert Breer on Wednesday that he plans to sign with the Houston Texans.

Less than two months after their triumph over the San Francisco 49ers at the Superdome, the Ravens' roster is getting younger, cheaper and much less recognizable.

A rundown of who's gone:

» Ed Reed, safety: Close to deal with Texans.
»Dannell Ellerbe, linebacker: Signed with Miami Dolphins
»Paul Kruger, linebacker: Signed with Cleveland Browns
»Cary Williams, cornerback: Signed with Philadelphia Eagles
»Anquan Boldin, wide receiver: Traded to San Francisco 49ers
» Bernard Pollard, safety: Agreed to deal with Titans
» Bobbie Williams, guard: Released, free agent
» Ray Lewis, linebacker: Retired
» Matt Birk, center: Retired

The Ravens did manage to lock up quarterback Joe Flacco with a massive long-term contract last month, and the offense should be able to survive the loss of Boldin, a veteran who peaked during Baltimore's playoff run.

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It's a different story on the other side of the ball. Reed becomes the sixth key defensive player to leave the team since the Super Bowl. The draft obviously will become hugely important as the Ravens try to re-stock the cupboard.

In the meantime, finding a way to land Elvis Dumervil would be a nice Band-Aid.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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