Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens reporter: It is obviously a sad day for Ravens' fans and for good reason. Reed is one of the best players in franchise history and a sure bet Hall of Famer. For more than a decade, he has not only been one of the best Ravens but he's been one of the most entertaining to watch. But the Ravens' offseason blueprint has been clear and quite frankly, Reed, who turns 35 in September and who struggled last season, doesn't fit into that going forward. Now more than ever, this is a new era for the Ravens. I think they'll miss Reed's leadership and his mentoring of players more than his on-field production. There is a part of me that wished that Reed retired this offseason, that the final images of him on a football field would have been the safety dancing around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 30 minutes from where he grew up, and celebrating his first Super Bowl victory. But with how much he has meant to the NFL, the Ravens and the city, he deserves to go out however he wants.
Aaron Wilson, Ravens reporter: Ed Reed leaves the Ravens with a rich legacy as one of the most instinctive ballhawking safeties in NFL history. A dynamic center fielder, Reed had a unique way of baiting quarterbacks into mistakes. The 34-year-old joins the Houston Texans at a time when his game was still productive with flashes of the old vintage Reed. However, he was also hampered at times by durability issues and a decline in range that's understandable at his age. Reed's intellect and dedication to film study set him apart and his willingness to mentor younger teammates the way Ray Lewis did with him when he first arrived in Baltimore. Reed was unpredictable on the field and rarely hesitated to express himself off the field. There won't be another player or personality quite like Reed in Baltimore. Bottom line: Reed was never dull to watch or listen to.
Matt Vensel, reporter/blogger: While nothing was surprising at all about the news that Ed Reed is signing with the Houston Texans, I still feel a little bummed out about it now that it became official. It has been a joy watching Reed up close since I started covering the team in 2008, and it may be a long, long time until we see another ball-hawking safety as good as him. Few defenders were as dangerous and as exciting with the ball in their hands. I will miss those big plays.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: I always wanted to see Ed Reed with the ball in his hands, whether it was an interception return or a punt return, just to see if he was going to lateral the ball. Reed has noticeably slowed down as a player, but he’ll be a big loss in the locker room for the Ravens. He’s a tremendous athlete who will be remembered in Baltimore not only for his Hall of Fame career, but for his charity work, especially at the Booker T. Washington Middle School. He didn’t just provide money, he gave his time.
Kevin Cowherd, columnist: If it was hard to imagine the Ravens' defense without Ray Lewis, it's almost impossible to imagine it without No. 52 AND Ed Reed. Reed will be sorely missed for his savvy and play-making abilities. But he wanted more money than the Ravens were willing to pay and the respect of a big contract, and now the Ravens begin to build a whole new identity on defense.
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