Ed Reed says he suffers memory loss

NEW ORLEANS -- I walked into the Superdome wanting to hear from Ray Lewis about his last game, and I left wondering why this isn't Ed Reed's final one.

Reed told reporters at Tuesday's media day that he has experienced issues that he believes stem from past concussions.

"I feel effects from it," Reed said. "Some days, I wake up and I'm like, 'Where did my memory go?' But I signed up for it."

It's admirable that Reed isn't blaming anyone for his problems. He knew the risks of playing the game, and he's now suffering some of the tough consequences.

My only question is why would he want to keep playing if he is already feeling these effects. Memory loss at the age of 34 is a jarring revelation. The suicides of Junior Seau and Dave Duerson have been linked to brain trauma-induced disease. It's not a matter of whether or not Reed can play the game. It's a matter of his quality of life after he leaves the game.

The setting couldn't be more perfect for Reed to leave the game. He's playing in his first Super Bowl in his own hometown. He could walk away from the game with his friend Ray Lewis. Reed has contemplated retirement for the past couple of years, so it's obviously been on his mind.

But Reed has made it clear that he's playing next season. In terms of ability, he's not the same playmaker from a few years ago but he remains one of the most feared safeties in the league. Reed can play four more seasons, and there will be a team that is willing to pay when he hits free agency in March.

Still, it's hard to put a price tag on your future. As Reed put it Tuesday, he understands what he is signing up for. You just hope he doesn't regret it down the road.