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Ed Reed, Jacob Bell Could Signify Wave Of Players Willing To Walk Away From NFL

Adam Schein had Baltimore Ravens defensive star and NFL icon Ed Reed on his Sirius XM show today and he broke open some news that's bound to happen again as various stars come forward. Put simply, Reed brought up the idea that he might not want to play in 2012:

Now it's easy to analyze this one way or the other for the Ravens and specifically from Reed's perspective. If Reeds sits out 2012 or even retires, that's a major blow for a team that relies on a tough defense anchored in the back by one of the greatest safeties of his generation.

Yet Reed brings up an interesting point here that most NFL fans and front offices are going to have to come to terms with. As the tragic passing of Junior Seau and other such events brings post-NFL issues to light, certain players are going to have a harder time suiting up for another season than others. If a player has already banked millions, the question has to be asked, "Will I get to enjoy the security I've saved?"

It's easy to spout of questions about the love of the game, but Reed's questioning and the recent exit of Jacob Bell from the Cincinnati Bengals to start his career after football earlier than anyone expected could become a normal occurrence from year to year. In short, teams like the Chiefs might not just have to think about replacing a player who is naturally going to retire (a la Casey Wiegmann) or to upgrade (a la Eric Winston over Barry Richardson). Instead, an NFL team might have to work to find players who are willing to play knowing that some of the best options just don't want to risk it any more.