Ed Reed is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, but like most great players, he hung around a season too long. During his first 11 years with the Ravens, he redefined the safety position, paving the way for Earl Thomas and Eric Berry. But Reed’s final season, in 2013, was spent with the Texans and the Jets, and those few months can best be described as forgettable.
Now Reed is defensive assistant on Rex Ryan’s staff in Buffalo. In the spring, Ryan joked that he wanted Reed to stay in shape in case he needed him to play. On Thursday, the 37-year-old Reed offered specifics about what it would take to get him back in pads and on the field.
“I got two or three years in me,” Reed said, via ESPN.com. “But I’m not giving it to the league. I already decided not to. Things could happen, but I don’t think there’s enough finances to get me in those cleats anymore, man. They tend not to want to play the vets.”
So what kind of money is Reed talking about?
“What’s the lottery?” he asked. “It’s like 308 [million]? 306? Something like that, right? I got to hit the lottery.”
This is all fun and games now, days before the season opener, but if we’re having this conversation in, say, November, it’s a safe bet that Ryan will be looking for work by January. He was brought to Buffalo to make an already good defense better, but to also improve the offense and help the Bills back to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Things didn’t go as planned in Year 1; the Bills’ D, which ranked No. 2 behind only the Seahawks in 2014, according to Football Outsiders’ metrics, fell to 24th in Ryan’s first year. And while the offense improved from 26th to 9th, the Bills finished 8-8 in ’15, a game worse than the year before.
The Bills open the season in Baltimore on Sunday, which will be a homecoming for both Ryan and Reed (the former coached the latter there, and later in New York), though Reed says there’s no added motivation in facing the Ravens. He also concedes, that while he misses playing, those days truly are behind him.
“But I always been a coach, man. I always been a player, I always been an athlete,” he said. “There’s just certain things you do to kind of get that competitiveness out. [I knew] that I was no longer a player a long time ago. That’s why I retired. So all that’s gone. That life is behind me, man. Here I am, Coach Reed.”
Source: CBS Sports / Ed Reed: It would take 0 million for me to play again in the NFL