It’s been a crazy 24 hours for Ravens safety Ed Reed.
On Monday afternoon, the NFL suspended him for one game for his third illegal hit against a defenseless player in three season. On Tuesday afternoon, former NFL assistant coach Ted Cottrell reduced the suspension to a $50,000 fine.
Said Cottrell in the letter to Reed: “I have determined that your actions were egregious and warrant significant discipline. However, I do not believe that your actions were so egregious as to subject you to a one-game suspension without pay. P layer safety is the league’s primary concern in the formation of playing rules and all players are expected to adhere to those rules or face disciplinary action. I hope in the future you will focus on ensuring that your play conforms to the rules.”
In the interim, the appeal was filed and the hearing was held and the decision was made quickly enough to allow Reed to miss not a single snap of practice.
The speed with which everything transpired makes us wonder whether the NFL simply wanted to get the attention of players by issuing the suspension, with every expectation that the suspension would be overturned. Reed’s name recognition and lack of reputation as a big hitter helped send the message; the dramatically expedited appeal process ensured that Reed and the Ravens would suffer no competitive disadvantage.
Of course, Reed still loses $50,000. But that’s a lot less than the $423,000 game check he would have lost.
As a result, Reed will be available to face the Chargers on Sunday. And the appeal process, which many players regard as futile, worked.