One of the most highly-anticipated retirements in sports has finally come to pass.
San Francisco 49ers tight end Jordan Reed announced his retirement from the NFL to ESPN on Tuesday after an eight-year professional career as one of the most dangerous and talented tight ends in the game.
Reed cited numerous and seemingly constant issues with head injuries and concussions as the main reason for his decision to hang his cleats up at age 30.
“I was pretty sure I was going to keep playing; I was feeling good about where I was at,” Reed said. “But then I had some lingering effects and sought out professional help to get diagnosed. They told me it was not a good idea to keep playing. I agreed with them.”
The Florida alumnus had gone to Orlando’s Plasticity Center in the later stages of this past winter to get a brain scan that would give him an idea of where he was at in terms of the damage the concussions had caused. The results from that scan led the doctor to suggest Reed retire. The tight end agreed with the doctor.
Reed spent the final season of his career with the 49ers, and considering San Fran’s move up to No. 3 in the draft, Reed might have been paired up with one of the most exciting rookie signal callers had he decided to continue playing.
Considering they already have George Kittle—a top three player at the tight end position—taking care of business there, Reed’s retirement doesn’t move the needle at all in terms of their aspirations for next season. Reed was always a bit of a wild card, so their +187 NFL odds to win the NFC West remain just as realistic as they did on Monday.
Reed was originally drafted in the third round out of Florida by the Washington Football Team and would go on to play for the franchise for the first seven seasons of his career. He always presented extremely difficult if not straight up impossible matchup issues for opposing defenses when he was healthy thanks to his combination of size, unbelievable athleticism, and superior hand-eye coordination. But very often, he was not healthy to take advantage of those gifts.
Reed played in just 65 of a possible 112 games during that span, which means he participated in about 58 percent of possible contests since entering the league. Soft tissue issues, toe issues, knee issues, and of course, the head issues, kept Reed off the field. The tight end suffered from at least seven documented concussions going into the 2019 season.
The New Britain, Connecticut native came into that campaign with a great mindset, but that all went to trash when he was taken out in the third preseason game and suffered yet another concussion. Reed sat out the entire 2019 season and said that he still felt the effects when he played during the 2020 season.
Reed has said that marijuana was a huge asset in helping him recover from his various NFL-caused ailments. Reed already owns some assets in the industry and is looking to expand his business dealings in the marijuana sector after it helped him so significantly during his many recoveries.
“I always knew the dangers of opioids,” Reed said. “I chose to lean on cannabis for a lot of that pain.”
After Washington released him in the spring of 2020, Reed signed on with the Niners. He played in 10 games last season, snaring 26 balls for 231 yards and four touchdowns.
Reed ends his NFL career with eight years, seven seasons, and a boatload of potential to his name. Reed finished his NFL life with 355 receptions for 3,602 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns.