Playing off Ray Lewis’ announcement that this would be his last ride, Ed Reed was asked Thursday whether the Super Bowl will be his.
“No, it’s not my last ride. I just bought a bike,” Reed joked.
The Ravens’ 11th-year safety was later asked to clarify those comments, and that he did.
“I’ll be playing next year, if that’s what you’re asking,” Reed said.
So although there have been rumors and doubts about Reed’s future in the NFL, the 34-year-old says he will be playing in 2013. And his teammates are glad to hear it.
Fellow safety James Ihedigbo believes Reed has plenty of football left in him.
“He’s a guy that he can play literally as long as he wants,” Ihedigbo said. “His ability to play at a high level and continue to excel and continue to make plays, he’s a phenomenal player.”
Defensive lineman Art Jones called it a blessing.
“To have that man on this team is unbelievable. Ed Reed is the man. There’s no other man like Ed Reed,” Jones said. “He’s passionate and he’s such a hard worker, and that guy helps me out and he’s a safety. He understands the game at every position. Ed, I just love having him.”
Second-year cornerback Chykie Brown was also glad to hear that Reed’s career will continue.
“That’s more motivation to see a guy of his caliber still going at a high level,” Brown said. “There’s much more to learn from him. I’m glad he’s coming back so I still can learn from him.
“He’s been real valuable. He’s my mentor anyway. He’s valuable to me, teaching me how to become a professional football player and how to become a man in life. I take everything to heart, what he says.”
There’s no guarantee that Reed will be back with the Ravens, as he’s a pending free agent. Reed has played his entire career with Baltimore, earning five first-team All-Pro nods, nine Pro Bowl invitations and the 2004 Defensive Player of the Year.
This season, Reed started all 16 games despite a torn labrum in his shoulder, recording 58 tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.