When he played for the Ravens, Ed Reed excelled at takeaways. But off the field, Reed believes in giving back.
The newly-elected first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame safety has embarked on a project near-and-dear to him – building a park in the New Orleans neighborhood where he grew up.
Going to the neighborhood park helped Reed stay on the right path as a youngster and he wants to recreate that experience for today’s youth.
"It's a park that's needed," Reed said. "I'm a park baby. I grew up at the park, and it always gave me an outlet, gave me something else to do. My kids, our kids, need something to do.
"I'm building this park in my old neighborhood because kids are being affected by violence, drugs, stuff that is pulling them away from things that they can do to help them be successful. Help me build this park."
Reed is asking for "$20 for 20" to help him in his mission, and fans can donate on his foundation’s website.
Reed became the third first-ballot Hall of Famer drafted by the Ravens, joining left tackle Jonathan Ogden and inside linebacker Ray Lewis. Reed will be officially inducted into the Hall during a ceremony this summer, joining the 2019 class that also includes Tony Gonzalez, Kevin Mawae, Champ Bailey, Gil Brandt, Pat Bowlen, Ty Law, and Johnny Robinson.
Few players are universally respected more than Reed, who is admired by both former teammates and opponents. Current and former NFL players have already responded with their intention to donate, including current Ravens safety Eric Weddle, former Ravens and New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson, and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner.