Throughout his entire 10-year career with the Baltimore Ravens, Ed Reed played in the shadows of legendary linebacker Ray Lewis. Once the confetti fell from the Super Dome in New Orleans following the Ravens Super Bowl XLVII victory, many had preferred Reed to once again follow Lewis' lead and ride off into the sunset and retire as champions.
Reed wasn't done. He still had some football left in him — he thought.
In March, Reed was given the opportunity to extend his career, signing a three-year, $15 million contract from the Houston Texans. The deal would turn into a horrible signing for the Texans, who saw Reed immediately undergo surgery to repair an injured hip following signing his contract, which included $6 million guaranteed.
Reed will now have made more than $1 million per game as he's been released by the Texans following losing his starting job and criticizing the coaching staff all within a week's time.
Reed will be subject to waivers and buzz has already started on social media as to if the Ravens should resign one of the faces of their franchise's Mt. Rushmore.
I have no problem with the Ravens re-signing Reed. But only if it's for a day to retire as a Raven.
Reed's playing days are certainly behind him, and the Ravens have better options in their secondary currently on the field. Make no bones about it, Reed at 35 may still have the best instincts in the game, but he's not better physically than James Ihedigbo or rookie Matt Elam, who the Ravens drafted with the 32nd pick in the first-round this past April.
If you think that Reed will simply sit on the bench and have his role reduced to a spectator in pads, you've got another thing coming.
I love Reed. He was one of the most exciting players I'll ever witness play football and he certainly commands respect both inside and outside the locker room. However, the NFL stands for Not For Long and Reed's time in this league has clearly ran out.
During the Ravens sole home playoff game last year against the Colts, I wrote a story about how unselfish Reed was during his final introduction as a member of the Ravens in M&T Bank Stadium, deflecting all the attention to Lewis as he would do his patented squirrel dance in uniform one last time for his home fans.
Even though Reed was unselfish, he should put himself first moving on. He did what it took to secure another payday and his family financial stabillity for generations to come. He should also go into Canton and not have to live in Lewis' shadow yet again, because there is no doubt that both of them would have went in on the first ballot in 2017.
I can't wait to travel to Canton for back-to-back years and watch the Ravens dominate the show, but in the meantime, I'll appreciate some of the last times we'll see Reed, likely re-signing for a day with the team, and the subsequent thanks he deserves, having his #20 jersey retired and inducted into the Ring of Honor.
It's been fun Ed, but it's time to hang up the cleats. Let's start putting the spotlight on you for once and honor the great career you've had in the NFL.
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