I heard that one of the reasons the Ravens front office weren't pursuing Ed Reed as hard as you think they would've was because they were actually trying to shed their Lewis/Reed team identity and that they wanted to foster some new leadership and a new identity as well.
Or that could just be an excuse as to why they didn't want to pay him more, but who knows?
There were also rumors of the team trying to shed the mutiny leaders. I believe it's a mixture of everything that's been said: money, age, headstrong players. As a fan it sucks to see some of my favorites gone, but now is as good as time as any to clean house. The defense has showed it's age the last couple of years, why not clean house now. They've got some vets in places on the defense that makes sure it wont be a complete mess. I'd say they've got a solid core on the offensive side of the ball and now they are working on the defense to get a good, young squad together.
For me, as a fan, it all comes down to am I a fan of the team or just a player? Nothing wrong with either choice, although I personally get tired of Manning followers but that's something else entirely. I'm a Ravens fan, and while I loved watching Ed Reed and Ray Lewis with them gone I'm still a Ravens fan. I've seen other of my favorites come and go It'll suck to see Ed in a Texans uniform but just how it is anymore. It also sucks because I have new jerseys to buy at some point.