It’s all coming to an end for the Baltimore Ravens. The smothering defense, the happy-go-disciplined approach to the game. The youthfulness of playing football.
Time and coaching acumen have all caught up to the Baltimore Ravens, and one of its best defenders sits on the sideline with a difficult decision that has just one possible solution.
Ed Reed should retire.
One more interception return for a touchdown, one more game-saving pass deflection, one more emotionally-stirring appearance will not make his Hall of Fame entrance. His bust is all but bronzed, his play all but burned into the styles of so many safeties in today’s game.
So the cost, literally of life and limb, seems not to be worth it. Not for Pittsburgh, not for the playoffs. What else is there to prove beyond what has already been done?
And while there is some strength in leaving on self-defined terms, there’s more to the next part of life than what terms allow. In exchange for a few more downs, a few more chances at glory, a more noticeable limp, a more distinct pain when waking in the morning may be the trade off.
And that’s without mention of the years on his life that he may sacrifice.
He’s already in the discussion, if not the definition, of the greatest safety of all time. What most men aspire to be, he walks around in everyday. And he will do so for the remainder of his days. The Ravens can retool and rebuild, but there’s no real reason to put into further disrepair what glory and blessings helped to build.
Time to go, Ed. Don’t take it personally, just take it and run as fast as you can with it. Just as you always have.