Ed Reed Retires After 12 NFL Seasons

Ed Reed Retires After 12 NFL Seasons

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  • Veteran free safety Ed Reed retired from the NFL after 12 pro seasons on /4/6.
  • He is an eight-time Pro Bowler and 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Veteran free safety Ed Reed, who spent 11 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, retired on /4/6, per multiple reports.

Veteran free safety Ed Reed is retiring from the NFL.

Ryan Mink of the Baltimore Ravens’ official website confirmed Reed’s retirement on /4/6. The 36-year-old Reed will make his retirement official during a 2 p.m. ET press conference at the Under Armour Performance Center in Baltimore.

According to The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, team president Dick Cass and head coach John Harbaugh will attend Reed’s press conference on Thursday

Former Ravens safety and assistant coach Bennie Thompson told Wilson on Wednesday that Reed is a sure-fire Hall of Famer:

“Ed is a Hall of Famer, absolutely. Ed did some unique things that kind of changed the safety position. That’s why I say he’s a Hall of Famer. Ed would play on instinct. He knew the game so well.

“Ed studied so much film. He knew what the other team was going to do. He knew that six-cut was coming because of how the wide receiver was lined up and, then, there he goes, intereption. He knew that he was going to pick it off the whole time.” 

Baltimore drafted Reed 24th overall out of the University of Miami in 2002. He spent 11 of his 12 NFL seasons with the Ravens, establishing NFL records with 1,590 interception yard returns and a 107-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008, per Wilson.

He also had a 106-yard interception return for a touchdown four years earlier against the Cleveland Browns, per The Baltimore Sun.  

Hensley stresses Reed led the NFL in interceptions in 2004, 2008 and 2010. He was such an elite safety, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used to wear a wristband which said, “Find 20 (Reed’s jersey number) on every play,” per Mink. 

Reed’s nine postseason interceptions — the most in league history — puts him in elite company along with the likes of Ronnie Lott, Bill Simpson and Charlie Waters, per Wilson.

One of those picks came at the expense of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans where the Ravens celebrated winning their second Vince Lobmardi trophy, per Mink. 

He split his 2013 NFL season with the New York Jets and Houston Texans before working as a Showtime NFL analyst. He did not suit up for the 2014 NFL season, per Wilson.

Reed concludes his 12-year NFL career with 64 interceptions, 643 tackles, 11 forced fumbles and six sacks. He was also an eight-time Pro Bowler, per The Baltimore Sun

Wilson says Reed was active in the Baltimore and his native Louisiana communities with “football camps, charity events and Thanksgiving giveaways.”

Thompson attested to this when he spoke with The Baltimore Sun:

“I know him off the field and he wasn’t a party animal. He didn’t stay out all night. He was a student of the game. He went home and studied, so he was already prepared when he came to work.

“Ed is a legit guy who’s very genuine and cared about the game, his teammates and his coaches and the city of Baltimore. There won’t be another player quite like Ed Reed.”

Mink adds the Ravens were waiting for Reed to retire before including him in the team’s Ring of Honor. Wilson says Reed will be eligible to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in five years.

Reed, whose nine interceptions earned him NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2004, and retired middle linebacker Ray Lewis are considered to be the best defensive players in Ravens franchise history, per The Baltimore Sun.

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