Ed Reed can now add "Hall of Fame" to his legendary career resume.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Saturday that in his first year of eligibility, Reed will be enshrined in the 2019 class.
Even more impressive, it only took the 44 members of the selection committee two minutes and 20 seconds to vote on his enshrinement. Reed is the first safety in 33 years to be voted in in their first year of eligibility.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection meeting has concluded. Longest discussions for the modern-era finalists were held on Ty Law (27:16), Tony Boselli (26:10), Kevin Mawae (24:52), Don Coryell (22:37) and Tom Flores (18:54). The shortest was Ed Reed (2:20).— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) February 2, 2019
Drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Reed would go on to play 11 seasons with the organization. During that span, he was voted to the Pro Bowl nine times, was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, was a five-time First-Team All-Pro and started 159 of 160 games.
On the field with the Ravens, Reed had 61 interceptions for 1,541 yards and seven touchdowns. In addition, the safety racked up 11 forced fumbles and 13 fumbles recovered for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Not to forget a Super Bowl XLVII championship.
After stints with the Houston Texans and New York Jets, Reed retired with 1,590 interception yards — an NFL record — and tied a league record for interceptions three times. His 64 interceptions ranks seventh of all time.
In 2004, Reed broke a 17-year-old record by posting a 106 yard interception return for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns. Then just four years later, the safety broke his own record with a 108 yard interception return against the Philadelphia Eagles.
But to the city of Baltimore, Reed was much more than just numbers. He was a force to be reckoned with and rounded out the terrifying defensive trio made up of himself, Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. The safety's bone crushing (and now illegal) hits were a symbol of a Ravens defense that was unstoppable and is still mentioned among some of the best ever.
"Ed just always had a great knack for making a critical play in a critical situation," general manager Eric DeCosta said. "He was a finisher. He was a guy that when the lights were on, he was going to make the play – just like that Washington [Redskins] game. I’ll never forget that night game when he blocked the punt, recovered the fumble and basically, single-handedly won that game for us. He just had a flare for making the best play of the game.”
Reed's leadership wasn't felt just on the field, but in the Ravens' locker room as well.
"I love Ed Reed the man. I love Ed Reed the person. I love Ed Reed the brother, the father," former teammate Torrey Smith told the #RedskinsTalk podcast Wednesday.
"That's like my big brother. He helped me get through some of my darkest days, you know my brother passed away. He was always a great leader. You can talk to him about anything. Money, finances, being young and broke in College Park to all of a sudden you're making a whole lot of money at 22-years-old. Dealing with family, the struggles that come with that. Just being a man. Religion, peace, just everything, man. Reed's a guy that I have a lot of respect for and he's a first ballot Hall of Famer, obviously because of his talent, but I hope everyone gets the opportunity to meet Ed Reed one day because of the person that he is."
Reed is now the third player drafted by the Ravens organization to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside Lewis and offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden. All three earned their gold jackets in their first year of eligibility.
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