There’s a very good chance that former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed will be elected to the Hall of Fame on Saturday in his first year of eligibility. However, if Reed had his say a different safety would get the call before him.
Former Denver Broncos safety Steve Atwater.
In a conversation with Adam Lefkoe and Chris Simms of Bleacher Report, Reed said he hoped Atwater would be the one getting inducted this summer.
“I pray to God that Steve Atwater gets in. If I get in and he doesn’t get in, I would rather give my spot to him.” Reed said.
Atwater is one of the 15 finalists that will be up for discussion. He has been among the final 15 candidates before but has not received enough support for induction.
Atwater played 11 seasons in the NFL with 10 coming with the Denver Broncos. He appeared in 167 games and complied eight Pro Bowl selections, two first-team All-Pro selections, was named to the 1990’s All-Decade Team and won two Super Bowls with the Broncos.
Reed was even better during his 12 years in the NFL. Reed was a nine-time Pro Bowler, five-time first-team All-Pro selection (and three-time second-team All-Pro), was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, was named to the 2000’s All-Decade Team and won a Super Bowl with the Ravens in 2012.
“I was never about the accolades,” Reed said. “Though you know they’re there. There’s a lot of people who helped me get to this point. I’m just soaking it in right now.
“Just being in that talk is enough for me”
Reed and tight end Tony Gonzalez are the most surefire candidates to be elected to the 2019 class. Whether Atwater gets enough support when only five total nominees can be elected remains to be seen.