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Best of the Best: The case for Ed Reed

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Best of the Best: The case for Ed Reed

When Patriots quarterback Tom Brady faced Ed Reed in the AFC Championship Game, Brady wore a message on his wristband: "Find 20 on every play."

In a nutshell, that illustrates just how much respect -- and fear -- opponents had for Reed, the game-changing, ballhawk safety who patrolled the back end of a defense like few others in NFL history.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has called him the best free safety he's ever seen in the NFL, an opinion that would surely be seconded by many.

Reed, the Ravens first-round draft pick in 2002, retired this past spring after playing for 12 seasons, 11 of them in Baltimore. Reed finished with 64 career interceptions, the sixth-highest total in NFL history, and his total of 61 picks with the Ravens is far and away the team record (Ray Lewis ranks second at 31).

Reed played with a style all his own. He was unpredictable, and at times seemed to be freelancing his way around the back of the Ravens defense. But make no mistake: He always had a plan. Meticulous in his film study, Reed was tremendous at picking up on subtleties and quarterback tendencies, and then daring a quarterback to make a throw. And when the quarterback made a mistake, Reed pounced.

Reed holds the top three single-season interception totals in Ravens history, and also holds the team record with seven interception return touchdowns. (He also probably holds the team record for most interception return laterals, but that's unofficial...).

No one in NFL history has more interception return yardage (1,590), and his nine interceptions in the postseason is tied for a league record as well.

Reed made the Pro Bowl nine times and will be inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor this fall. A trip to Canton and induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is sure to follow.

RELATED: Best of the Best: The case for Joe Flacco

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Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

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USA TODAY Sports

Ravens lower concession prices at M&T Bank Stadium ahead of 2018 season

Enjoying a game at M&T Bank Stadium just became a little more affordable.

On Thursday, the Ravens introduced their new "Flock Friendly Fare," reducing the price of 21 of their most popular food and beverage items.  

The change comes as the organization focuses on revamping the fan experience in 2018. Fans will see an average of 33 percent in total savings and up to 53 percent savings on a single item.  

"As a lot of you probably know, after every game we survey fans to see how we're doing; what have we done well and what have we not done well. Over the years, one of the biggest criticisms we received was for the gameday concessions prices," Ravens President Dick Cass said on the team's website

Alcoholic beverages were all reduced by $1 with the addition of domestic 12 ounce beer for $5.

Chicken tenders with fries went from $11 to $7, while a slice of pizza went from $8.50 to $6. No single item will cost above $9.

On average, you will now be able to feed a family of four for $44 compared to $66.75 in years past. To see all of the reductions, click the arrow in the post below. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Falcons reduced their concession prices upon opening their brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Ravens, however, are expecting to lose $1.5 million in concession revenue due to the change. 

Introducing our new Flock Friendly Fare!

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Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

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AP Images

Vegas odds against Lamar Jackson starting for Ravens in 2018

Vegas has spoken and they are not optimistic about rookie Lamar Jackson starting under center for the Ravens in 2018.

Bovado, an online gambling site, has set the odds on how the top 2018 rookies will perform and they have Jackson getting 0.5 starts this season.

That number will come as a surprise considering the popular narrative that Lamar Jackson will be the Ravens' starter in no time. The team made it clear they are planning for life after Flacco when they traded back into the first-round of the 2018 draft to select the quarterback out of Louisville at No. 32

Flacco - who is entering his 11th season with the organization - is experiencing a decline in his performance of late, one that can not be put entirely on his shoulders as the team has failed in finding him valuable weapons to throw to. Nonetheless, Flacco's projected 2018 season is very much up in the air and it appears Vegas is betting on the one-time Super Bowl MVP to bounce back. 

However, the Ravens have failed to make the playoffs four of the last five seasons, and if that trend continues into 2018, the rookie could get his shot at flipping the script.

If you're a betting man, it could payoff to bet the over on Jackson. Low risk, seemingly high reward. 

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