Ed Reed always looks for the lateral if he thinks he might get tackled. Ed Reed criticizes the franchise quarterback after a playoff win to motivate him (it worked). Ed Reed sings "Two Tickets to Paradise" to the city of Baltimore and on National TV when the Ravens qualify for the Super Bowl. Ed Reed does not have an agent; he represents himself. Ed Reed is one of the best and most unique NFL players in history. Ed Reed is part and will always be part of the Baltimore Ravens.
The Baltimore Ravens’ front office is in for a very unique week or so with Ed Reed. He is an unrestricted free agent and can be picked up by any team, but the Ravens need to keep him. His value-add to the team is more than just ability, it is in the intangibles. I know it is reckless and sometimes stupid to be sentimental about players on the team (Bill Belichick has always gone against sentiment in these situations), but in Reed’s case it would be gut wrenching to see someone else play FS on the night we celebrate the second Super Bowl victory in Charm City. It would be very difficult to see him in different colors less than a year after all his NFL dreams came true on February 3rd in the Super Dome.
Many arguments can be made to let Ed Reed go, but none of them outweigh the positives of keeping him in Baltimore. Some say he can’t tackle anymore, he is one helmet to helmet hit away from a 15 or even 14 game season, or that he isn’t what he used to be. All that may be true, but having number 20 finish his career as a Raven is for some reason very important. With that being said, he has provided us with some of the most electrifying moments in our history. From 108 versus the Philadelphia Eagles to his dazzling and terrifying punt returns to scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins in the playoffs when the offense needed it the most, Ed has been someone who Ravens fans have loved for the last ten years. Nostalgia is a powerful thing when it comes to a veteran laden team that just won the Super Bowl. We want everyone back to give it just one more shot. Although Ed Reed has given us so many moments to be proud, it is more than just nostalgia backing the argument as to why we should keep him.
The All-Decade Team member might still be the best free safety in the AFC (maybe Jairus Byrd is better?). He led the NFL in interceptions just 2 seasons ago. He has been to nine Pro-Bowls and been an All-Pro selections on 8 different occasions. He had four interceptions (1 more in the Super Bowl) including one for a touchdown. He had one of his best five seasons in tackles as well. He was still in elite player this season. Possibly the most dangerous part of Ed Reed’s game is that thought he puts in the quarterback’s head…."Where is 20?" Many see Reed as a player who is completely washed up and cannot play anymore. I completely disagree. I think fans are clouded by the fact that he was the best free safety in the NFL by such a large margin that they are unsure what to make of the fact that he is just one of the best and not unquestionable the best, period. The gap has closed on Ed, but that doesn’t mean he can’t shut off the deep ball or break open a game with one great read.
The Ravens are in a unique scenario of being able to keep one of the game’s best safeties for a hometown discount. I personally think the defense will benefit this year from more than just his ability. If you hadn’t heard, the defense has a leadership opening where Ed Reed would fit nicely (a passing of the torch from one Hurricane to another). I know we are probably beyond the days of waiting for Ed Reed to win us the game, but it sure would be great to have him stay with the purple and black until he decides to follows Ray into the sunset.