What's Next For Ed Reed?

Ed Reed kept everybody guessing throughout his career.

It's only fitting that the same will be true in retirement.

Reed's career officially came to a close Thursday when he signed a one-day contract to retire as a Raven, and the playmaking safety indicated that he's not entirely sure what's next for him. The one certainty, however, is that he'll remain close to the game that he played so well for 12 NFL seasons.

"You've probably heard me say I was born to play football," Reed said. "That's one thing I've learned over the years, is that I'm going to be around football. Football is in my blood. It's in my heart. It's in my family. I'll definitely be around football."

The specifics of what that looks like aren't exactly clear.


Last year Reed dipped his feet into media life, working as an analyst for Showtime's weekly "Inside the NFL" show. He brings a unique perspective as likely future Hall of Famer, and that could be an option again next year.

Fans also routinely ask about Reed getting into coaching. He was a pseudo coach to younger players later in his career, but he hasn't decided to make a full-time transition into the coaching ranks. 

"When I'm coaching, I don't know, at any level," he said. "Right now I'm coaching flag football for 4-year-olds and 7-year-olds. It doesn't make you want to be a coach. But we have a lot of fun out there."

Reed spent much of his press conference Thursday talking about being a mentor to kids and younger football players. He was active in community work throughout his NFL career, and he continues to maintain those efforts through his foundation.

He also has an interest in being a guiding voice to current NFL players about how to withstand the rigors of the game. Reed kept himself in great condition despite a number of injuries throughout his career, and he wants to educate younger players about staying healthy in an incredibly demanding sport.

"I'm going to be doing a lot of things," he said. "Right now it's spending time with the family, building my foundation, doing the things we do in the community, still doing those things, making myself available to the young guys as I have. I'm trying to get the word out to these young guys about taking care of themselves, how to handle yourself in the NFL, being a professional. I think we need guidance with that in the league. However I can help with that, hopefully that will be something that you see me doing."

Beyond that, Reed also likes the freedom of a retiree. He plans to maintain an active lifestyle, and also joked that his golf game is making some big strides.

"I didn't say I'm hanging my cleats up," he said. "I just said I'm retiring."

Take a look back at the historical 12-year career of the best ball hawk of all time.

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