Ed Reed spent 11 illustrious years as a Raven, anchored a defense that along with Ray Lewis created the identity for the franchise and the whole city, and finished that stretch off by winning a Super Bowl after a handful of close calls. He’ll go down in history as one of the greatest safeties ever to play the game, and one of the most unique. He was as capable of breaking a huge, game-changing play as Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders ever were.
That career may be over. The Houston Texans released him Tuesday; he was injured most of the season, got benched for poor play, was part of a catastrophic seven-game losing streak, and, after last Sunday’s game, ripped his coaching staff. He might not even be welcomed back to Baltimore for a farewell tour, considering that at 4-5 and lucky to be there, they have problems of their own.
But a bad ending can’t obscure how great his career was. Here’s what should be remembered: First, the longest interception return in NFL history, against Kevin Kolb of the Eagles in 2008.