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Ed Reed 'wants to play football' but still could retire before 2012 season

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Does Reed really want to play another half-decade or is it all just a ruse?
It seems at about this time every year we get to speculate on whether Ravens standout safety Ed Reed will return for another season. We've wondered in the past because he's been beset by neck injuries (due, in part, to nerve troubles), and in 2009 and 2010, he missed a total of 10 games.

Even though he'll turn 34 next season, the performance of Reed, even with his neck and back issues, hasn't dropped off much.

Hell, he recorded eight interceptions, one off his career high, in just 10 games in 2010, and last season, he started all 16 of Baltimore's regular-season contests and recorded 52 tackles, his highest total since 2006.

Basically, Reed still plays at a high level.

But it's March, so that means it's time to speculate on Reed's future and how much longer he'll want to keep playing.

Well, would you believe that he wants to play another half-decade? Apparently Reed does, saying playing another four or five years is a "reality for me" and that "if it was up to me, I'd be with a walking cane out there."

"There's a lot of talk out there," Reed told the South Florida Sun Sentinel after he was inducted into the University of Miami Hall of Fame. "I'm not going to say I'm 50-50 because I'm not. I want to play football. But it's something me and my team have been discussing the last couple of weeks. ... I plan on doing it, but depending, it could change."

NFL News, Notes
OK, but why would it change? Well, when dealing with Reed and the possible retirement issue, it's hard to figure out his true intentions -- which might be part of the fun for him. Why else would he, following the Ravens loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship game, refuse to speak to reporters but sing a Teddy Pendergrass lyric that goes, "I think I better let it go ... "*

*One reason, of course, would be that Reed might be a big fan of good R&B music, and another reason might be because he was referring directly to the game he just played. But see how much fun it is to speculate on what might have been a completely random moment?

A couple weeks after the Patriots game, the Baltimore Sun reminds us, Reed told Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome that he would return for 2012.

So, what do we know? Basically, that we don't know much of anything.

As the Sun writes, "Trying to determine what Reed's plans are by dissecting his latest comments is pointless. You're better off just focusing on enjoying the time you still have left to watch him play football."

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