Ed Reed, the former safety of the Baltimore Ravens from 2002-2012, announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday. Reed is expected to have his name and jersey inducted into the team’s ring of honor during the 2015 season.
Reed was a two-time All-American and a national champion at the University of Miami. In the 2002 NFL Draft, Baltimore selected him as the 24th overall pick. Reed showed that he belonged on the famed Ravens defense.
In 160 regular season games with the Ravens, Reed intercepted 61 passes. He transformed those picks into 1,541 return yards and seven touchdowns. Reed also forced 11 fumbles, recovered 13 and returned two of those recoveries for scores.
Two of his interception returns for touchdowns were the longest “picked-sixes” in NFL history:
2004-106 yards against the Browns
2008-107 yards against the Eagles
Causing turnovers was not the only part of Reed’s game. He also displayed an aggressive tendency, making 643 tackles. Opposing quarterbacks, such as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, had to create game plans so they could avoid throwing in Reed’s direction.
Reed was equally as dominant in the playoffs. In 15 postseason games, he tied Charlie Waters, Bill Simpson and Ronnie Lott for the most career interceptions with nine. Reed also helped the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII over the San Francisco 49ers.
One of the greatest safeties in league history served two brief stints with the New York Jets and Houston Texans. Following the 2013 season, Reed decided to walk away from the game before retiring for good on Thursday.
Whether he was making tackles, forcing fumbles, or intercepting passes, Reed was a reliable force. Whether he made plays during the regular season or the postseason, he was a consistent contributor to the Ravens’ overall success.
A nine-time pro bowler, an eight-time All-Pro, a defensive player of the year, and a 2000’s All-Decade team nominee, Reed has become one of the most recognizable names around the league. He has earned the respect of both his teammates and opponents.
Reed’s eligibility for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will not arrive until 2019. Nobody knows if he will get in right off the bat or if it will take a few years. Regardless of what happens, you can bet that he will be in Canton wearing a gold jacket.