Reed Set to Stay?

13Apr10

Ozzie Newsome will enter the draft under the assumption that Ed Reed won’t retire:

Considering there has been no official word from Reed yet, and after some internal discussions with Reed, General Manager Ozzie Newsome is moving forward under the assumption that Reed will be back in Baltimore this season.

“The way I look at it is up until [players] send a letter to the league that says they are retiring, they’re a Raven,” Newsome said at the Ravens’ pre-draft press conference on Tuesday.  “Until I get information from the league that they’ve sent that letter, right now, I sit here expecting him to play in that very first game.”

To the Ravens’ knowledge, Reed has not submitted his papers to the NFL, and while Newsome said he has not spoken with the five-time Pro Bowler, “people in the building have had communications with Ed Reed.”

Even though the Ravens are expecting Reed to return, it would be beneficial if he would break his silence and tell the team his plans before April 22, just to be sure.

I have mixed feelings on this, and Ed Reed is my favorite player. He’s by far the most exciting player on defense, even if he’s prone to occasional bonehead play on an interception return–in fact, this only adds to his allure. So of course, as a fan, I want him to stay.

However, in light of Malcolm Gladwell’s article on the debilitating lives football players often face after their careers are over (and often, during their tenure), among other groundbreaking research being done, I also want Reed to retire. Reed plays with a sort of acute controlled wrecklessness that often puts him in danger. He leads with his head at times, and almost always makes contact with ball carriers at dangerous speed. It all takes a toll.

Furthermore, knowing Reed’s leadership abilities and intelligence, I think he also has a bright future in coaching. I want him to literally be able to walk up and down the sidelines, calculating his defense’s next move. Playing through pain and injuries makes it more likely that a career in the NFL after his playing days will not be in his future. Here’s hoping he makes the right call, whichever that may be.

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