Ed Reed on health risks: Every player signed up for it

NEW ORLEANS -- Player safety has been one of the league's primary talking points in recent years, and while everyone agrees that fewer injuries are better, there is no consensus on how to get there. Last week, Ravens safety Bernard Pollard told CBSSports.com's Clark Judge that the NFL won't be around in 30 years, and 49ers tight end Vernon Davis predicted a spectacle resembling flag football two decades from now.

During Tuesday's Super Bowl media day, Baltimore safety Ed Reed admitted that he already feels the effects of concussions he's suffered during his 11-year NFL career.

"Sometimes I wake up and I think, where did my memory go? But at the same time, I signed up for it," Reed said. "Football has been like that for a long time, for ages. Football has always been a contact sport, and it's always going to be a violent sport, and there are going to be repercussions from that. But every player that ever played this game and will play this game, they're signing up for it."

A reporter asked Reed if former linebacker Junior Seau, who committed suicide last May and was later found to have suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also signed up for the physical toll the NFL metes out.

"Did he sign up for it?'' Reed said. "Yeah, he signed up to play football. Things are going to happen. Do I want it to happen? No. When I was on a golf course, did I want to hear about Junior Seau? No, I didn't want to hear that. I grew up watching him play. That was a sad day. A sad day, and there have been many other guys that have been down that road that you didn't want to hear about because of football."

Reed also spoke about the league's approach to making the game safer. Specifically, sanctioning players for illegal hits.

"Not every guy can afford it," Reed said. "But teams can, and the league can. It's a billion-dollar business. You've got guys upstairs making $10 to 12 million just to sign papers and to fine people. We're talking about the wrong things sometimes."

Reed has been fined more than $100,000 this season for hits deemed illegal by the league.

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