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Baltimore Ravens saftey Ed Reed unsure if he'll return next season


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Ravens' Reed contemplating retirement


INDIANAPOLIS -- Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed said Saturday that he's "50-50" on whether he will retire or return to the Baltimore Ravens for another NFL season.


Reed, 31, admits that Baltimore's 20-3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts stings and that he doesn't want to make an emotional decision. But after dealing with a serious neck injury for the past few seasons, Reed admits that retirement is an option.


"It's 50-50," Reed said. "I got great doctors that I deal with. So I'm going to re-evaluate things and see how it goes. ... At the end of the day, it's my decision to play with injuries going forward for my career."


"It's very tough because these opportunities don't come often," Reed said. "As a player getting older, you don't know how much you can last. So it's hard, man. It's really hard."

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Mason's on the fence too...


I got some months to think about it," Mason said. "I’m not in a rush. If I decide to play, obviously this would be a place that I’ll come back to. All the pieces are in place. But I have to think about my two little ones [children]."


"Mentally and emotionally is the toughest part," Mason said candidly. "Physically, I think I’ve proven that I haven’t slowed down. That is not a worry to me. I’ve been blessed enough to stay healthy.


"So it’s all about if I want to play, if mentally I’m still in it to play another year, or two, or three -- whatever it may be. So it’s something that I’ll evaluate."



It would be great to have Mason back as a #2 if the Ravens had a field stretching #1.

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Kevin Van Valkenburg's thoughts:


5. If this really was Ed Reed's last game -- he said after the game he's 50/50 on whether to return or retire -- then the Ravens are going to miss him a lot more than you probably realize. Tom Zbikowski actually played pretty well in Reed's absence this year, but this isn't about replacing Reed on the field. This is about replacing him in the locker room.


I'll touch on this more in a story this week in The Sun, but Reed is as important behind the scenes as he is on the field. (And as he proved Saturday night, he's still one of the only players smart enough to outsmart Peyton Manning.) People think Ray Lewis is the leader of the Ravens because they see him screaming and hollering on the sidelines and in pre-game, and certainly Lewis' leadership is important. He's a great mentor to younger players, he works hard, he deflects a lot of attention, and handles the brunt of criticism when things don't go well. He is the public face of the franchise.


But Reed is the most important player in that locker room. He's the most popular player on the team, hands down, because he treats everyone the same way and is virtually ego free. Several players told me recently he's the only guy on the team whom everyone believes puts the team above all else, and that includes the coaching staff. If the coaches are riding the guys too hard, or if they're trying some motivational ploy that isn't working, it's Reed who acts as an intermediary. If the moment calls for a speech that will reach everyone, it's Reed who steps up and gives it.


He would prefer you didn't know any of this, because he's private like that. He doesn't care if he's never written about or talked about in the media. But it's important you do know it so that you can take a minute and appreciate what he means to the Ravens. He's probably the most humble superstar in the league, and if this is goodbye, then he'll be deeply missed. By fans, of course. But perhaps more so by his teammates.

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Willett's saying that he thinks it's 70/30 that Ed will retire from the way Ed sounds. He said Ed was in the locker room for about 20 minutes and didn't talk to the media. He grabbed his stuff and ran.



He's Peter Kings take...


I really hope Ed Reed doesn't retire.


You want to see great players make great plays in big games like these. Well, I do anyway. Reed had the most compelling three minutes any player has had in a while against the Colts on Saturday night. In the span of six plays on the same drive in the third quarter (technically, they are two different drives because of the change of possession and then the change back within seconds), Reed twice intercepted Peyton Manning. The first pick he fumbled back to the Colts. The second interception was negated because of a pass-interference call against nickel back Corey Ivy and robbed the Ravens of their last chance to get back in the game.


Reed, 31, said after the game a nerve impingement in his neck may force him to retire. "You'll know soon enough,'' he said. That would be sad for football, because this is the best ball-hawking safety of our time (maybe ever), and the most instinctive defensive back of this era. Intercepting Manning twice in a span of six plays ... that's absolutely stunning. And it's no fluke.



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