Super Bowl XLVII: Ed Reed Isn't Retiring Next Year, Wouldn't Mind Playing For Bill Belichick
By: Kim O'Hara | Posted: January 31, 2013
Ed Reed has played in the NFL for 11 seasons, joining the Pro Bowl ranks nine times, but has never played in the Super Bowl. That will change this Sunday, of course, but might Sunday also mark Reed's final appearance in a Ravens uniform?
The highly regarded safety is in the final year of his contract with Baltimore this season and has shot down any suggestion of retirement. Between Reed, quarterback Joe Flacco's impending free agency and Baltimore's uneasy cap situation, the Ravens could be forced to part ways with one of its two key players. Since Flacco has just completed his fifth season and appears to be well on his way to earning "elite" status, smart money puts Reed on the open market at the free agency deadline.
Though no active player has more interceptions (or interception return yardage), Reed is 35 years old and can't reasonably be expected to maintain his upper echelon performance for more than a few more seasons. That's not to say other teams wouldn't chomp at the bit to sign him to a one- or two-year contract. Many have speculated that the New England Patriots could express interest in a player who had a part in their latest AFC Championship disappointment.
As for Reed, he wouldn't mind playing for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Belichick, who has long admired the safety's incredible play, insipired these sentiments from Reed:
"Yeah, oh yeah, man, I could definitely play for coach Belichick. He is a great coach. I'm sure he can help me to expand my football knowledge even more as a player and as a coach, so if I'm ever able to be around him, just like I was at the Pro Bowl, it's huge. It's the reason why I wear my sweater cut off a little bit. He's the first guy I saw like, 'That's cool.' You know, that's cool. He cuts those sweater sleeves, and he'll be comfortable. So there's a reason why. Most people will tell you around the facility that's how I look. It's just a blessing to even have met, to know coach Belichick."
It wouldn't be easy for Baltimore to send its prized safety to another team, but should Reed wind up with New England, a team Baltimore has faced in two consecutive AFC Championships, it would be particularly painful and potentially damaging. In the teams' three most recent meetings, the Patriots secondary has had no reliable answer for Flacco. Who better to provide guidance than one of his former teammates?
Kim O'Hara is the Associate Editor of TheFootballGirl.com. She is an avid fan of sports in general, but the NFL in particular. She has also been a contributor to ESPN the Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @KimOHaraTFG
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