CANTON, Ohio — He’s one of the most beloved Baltimore Ravens in team history, and this weekend he takes his rightful place among the greatest to ever play the game of football.
The time has finally come for Ed Reed to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Reed will officially be enshrined on Saturday night.
He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, the best safety in Ravens history, and arguably the best safety in National Football League history.
He played 12 seasons (2002-2013) in the NFL. The first eleven were spent in Baltimore, where he became a star right away.
The ball hawk led the league in interceptions three times (2004, 2008, 2010). He was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, and he owns the two longest interception returns in NFL history (106 and 107 yards). For his career he had 64 interceptions returned for an NFL record 1,590 yards and seven touchdowns.
Ed Reed stats courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Reed was a nine-time Pro-Bowler, five-time first team All-Pro and Super Bowl XLVII Champion.
His former head coach and teammates reflected on one of the best in a generation.
“Iconic personality and an iconic football player,” said Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. “Ed Reed is a legendary football player. You go into the Hall of Fame, you’re a legendary football player. But, in my mind, there’s levels in the Hall of Fame, too. I think Ed Reed, you’d be hard to argue that he’s not the greatest safety in the history of football.”
“He was a great football player, smart dude, better human,” said Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith. “Watching him actually turn it on in the games is kind of surprising, just how fast he moved in games. Practice was a little different for him. But, in the games it was like ‘Oh, that dude can really, he can ball’.”
“Ed showed up on Sundays and led on Sundays. He led in the locker room as well. The young guys listened to him,” said Ravens guard Marshal Yanda. “He was a voice in the locker room. He was your overall guy. He was the leader of our team.”
Reed is the third longtime Raven to enter the Hall, joining Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis.
He and the rest of the Hall of Fame Class of 2019 get their Gold Jackets on Friday night, before the enshrinement on Saturday night.