For the second year in a row, a former Baltimore Raven has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Just a few months after Ray Lewis joined Jonathan Ogden as the Ravens’ Hall of Fame representatives in August 2018, safety Ed Reed was announced as one of the 2019 class inductees. The announcement was made about 24 hours before Super Bowl 53 kicks off in Atlanta, Georgia.
The 2019 class, which will be inducted on Saturday, August 3 in Canton, Ohio, includes Reed, tight end Tony Gonzalez, center Kevin Mawae, cornerbacks Champ Bailey & Ty Law, safety Johnny Robinson, Broncos majority owner Pat Bowlen, and former Cowboys Vice President of Player Personnel Gil Brandt.
Just like Lewis and Ogden, Reed was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Players can’t be considered for the Hall of Fame until they’ve been retired for five years. Not all players nominated for the Hall of Fame get in on the first try, either.
Former Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome selected Reed with the 23rd pick of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Miami. Reed played 11 seasons with the Ravens, capping off his career by hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 47 in his home state of Louisiana.
Reed became a free agent after winning the Super Bowl when the Ravens decided not to re-sign the aging safety approaching his mid-30’s. The Texans signed Reed to a three-year contract worth $15 million, but he was released before the midway point of the 2013 season and finished the year (and his career) with the New York Jets.
Reed was elected to nine Pro Bowls and was a five-time First-Team All Pro selection. He won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2004 and led the NFL in interceptions three times – 2004, 2008, and 2010. He holds NFL records for career interception return yards (1,590) and interception return yards (107). His 107-yard pick-six against Kevin Kolb in 2008 actually broke his own 106-yard record record from 2004 against Jeff Garcia.
Reed ranks seventh all-time in career interceptions with 64, right behind. Charles Woodson‘s 65. Paul Krause holds the record with 81 interceptions. Reed also recovered 13 fumbles (forcing 11), and scored 10 touchdowns (seven off interceptions, two from fumble recoveries, one from a punt return). In addition, he recorded six sacks and 643 tackles.
In the playoffs, Reed tallied nine interceptions with a touchdown. Pro Football Hall of Fame Baltimore presenter Scott Garceau of 105.7 The Fan brought up the following in Atlanta: Reed’s nine playoff interceptions ties an NFL record for the most in postseason history. The six players ranked ahead of Reed in regular season career interceptions combined for eight interceptions in 58 playoff games. Reed reached nine playoff interceptions in 15 postseason contests.
Even though the Ravens were known as Lewis’s team under the linebacker’s irreplaceable leadership, Reed was the best play-maker in Ravens history. He patrolled the secondary like a centerfielder and always seemed to know where the football was going to be thrown.
Whether it was the interceptions, the game-wrecking hits, or Reed singing “Two Tickets to Paradise” at the Super Bowl 47 parade, he will always have a spacial place in the hearts of not just Ravens fans, but football fans around the world. This August, Ravens fans will get the opportunity to travel to Canton to see Reed’s historic career be recognized for how amazing it truly was.
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