Ed Reed kicked around the “R” word after last season’s abrupt and disappointing conclusion and some thought he was just reacting negatively after a difficult loss. Now that it has become clear that Reed is having difficulties getting himself physically ready for the 2010 season, the though of retirement has to be even more resonant in his mind. As arguably one of the league’s most complete safeties, Reed has been a fixture with the Baltimore Ravens back seven since 2002 and received several accolades as a result.

A six-time Pro Bowl participant and the AP’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, Reed has had an incredible career in just a little over a half a decade of work. Offseason hip surgery is now threatening to derail Reed’s 2010 season as the Ravens have placed him on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list and is probably going to remain there until the season begins. If that is the case, NFL rules dictate that Reed would have to sit out the first six regular season games as a result. That is the farthest thing from Reed’s mind at this point as he has said that he won’t be going out on the field this year until he feels physically prepared. His hip was completely reconstructed during the offseason and the rehabilitation process is taking longer than expected to get back into football shape.

As a safety, Reed is the crème de la crème in the NFL and arguments could be made to put him among the best to ever play the position. His awareness and intangible feel for the game is off the charts allowing him to read plays from the back line of defense while roaming around to close down angles and prevent competitions all over the field. His energy is second to only one and that is his teammate, linebacker Ray Lewis, and both are alums of the U (Miami University of Florida). The passion for the game is obvious when watching both players and that love infects those around them to make the entire defense better as a unit.

The Ravens safety has been unhappy with the way team management has treated him over the last season first refusing to rework his contract and now trying to force him onto the field before he is ready. According to Reed’s quotes, six or seven players currently make more than he does at the safety position and that is just ludicrous by definition. Just as the quarterback position has risen in level of importance over the last few seasons so has the safety spot and the salary for the best in the business should follow suit. Reed’s displeasure with Ravens management is easily understood, but what makes the entire situation worse is the fact that he may not be ready to play in 2010. For the sake of fans everywhere who love watching this defensive signal caller make a B-line for the football play after play, let’s hope this exciting defender can get back out on the field this year and be compensated accordingly.

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