Posted January 02, 2013

Ray Lewis announces plan to retire after the playoffs

Baltimore Ravens
Ray Lewis has 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions in 17 seasons. (Larry French/Getty Images)

Ray Lewis has 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions in 17 seasons. (Larry French/Getty Images)

Ray Lewis announced Wednesday that he plans to retire at the end of the season, his 17th with the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis told his teammates that “this will be my last ride,” according to the team’s official Twitter feed.

Baltimore hosts Indianapolis on Sunday in the AFC wild-card round.

“I’ve ran my course. It’s time for me to go create a different legacy,” Lewis said, per Jeff Zriebec of the Baltimore Sun. “Wherever it ends it ends. But I didn’t come back to be eliminated in the first round.”

Said Terrell Suggs: “It’s amazing and it’s sad all at the same time.”

Lewis added that he plans to play against the Colts, a game that will mark his first time back in the lineup since tearing his triceps in Week 6.

“Prior to the game, he will ignite and incite a riot so to speak,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of Lewis’ impact on the Baltimore crowd, “and there will be a ton of energy on that football team.”

The Colts have been the NFL’s darlings this year, with Andrew Luck leading his team to the playoffs despite Pagano’s extended absence while fighting leukemia. Even with Pagano back on the sideline, the Colts may have a tough time matching the Ravens from an emotional standpoint on Sunday.

Even as Lewis’ game has slowed, and his body has shown the effects of 17 seasons worth of wear and tear, he has remained the face of the Baltimore franchise and the heart and soul of its defense.

Lewis will go down as one of the greatest defenders in NFL history and, arguably, the best middle linebacker to ever play the game. Unofficially, he has more than 2,000 career tackles, plus he won two Defensive Player of the Year awards and helped the Ravens to a Super Bowl XXXV title.

Along the way, Lewis developed a reputation as one of the most feared players in the league.

GALLERY: RARE PHOTOS OF RAY LEWIS

He’s maintained that swagger throughout his remarkable run with the Ravens, and his mere presence on the field alone Sunday could spell trouble for the Colts.

The Ravens’ defense has taken a step back overall this season — it ranked just 20th against the run during the regular season. Those problems started before Lewis’ injury, but they certainly continued with guys like Dannell Ellerbe and Albert McClellan struggling to pick up the slack.

The Colts are not a potent rushing team anyway, so it remains to be seen if they’ll try to target a possibly rusty Lewis at all Sunday.

Baltimore could secure a second home playoff game, if it reaches the AFC championship against No. 6 Cincinnati. Otherwise, Sunday will mark Lewis’ final home game, assuming he sticks to his word on retiring. And it may also be the last time Ed Reed plays in front of the Baltimore fans, as well — he’s set to be a free agent after the season and, at 34, has had retirement rumors following him for some time.

Regardless of Reed’s future, Sunday appears as if it will mark the end of an incredible, nearly unparalleled run for Lewis and the Ravens.

51 comments
geewhiz
geewhiz

Legend.

 

Regardless of what happened in the past, seems to me he's been a changed person since then.  I really liked the Ray I saw in 'A Football Life'.  

 

Always going to be people who won't agree because of his involvement in that situation.  At least respect the on the field accomplishments.

 

 

bobbyburke83
bobbyburke83

Our country has a justice system that we must respect. He was found not guilty. Period. I'm pretty sure 99% of you crying that he needs to be imprisoned are just racist jacka$$es anyway. Get over it.

gwats1957
gwats1957

 All good things have to end. Ray will end his spectacular 17 year run  the way he started it.... on the field. Sweet.

TerryD.
TerryD.

Wow, outside Dieon Sanders, I think Ray Lewis is best defensive player I've seen play the game. I did not see other players in 60's, 70's so I am not comparing Ray to them. He is the hardest hitter I've seen. Urlicher (sp) is an elite LB but Ray edge him a little.

UR0515
UR0515

Unless any of you haters were on the investigative team....SHUT-UP. Ray Lewis is a living legend. The entire NFL will miss him playing on Sundays, and any real football fan would agree.

RogueDiplomat
RogueDiplomat

He was a great MLB, but he was no Lawrence Taylor....I wish him well...

DavidFernandez
DavidFernandez

Best defensive player to play in the NFL.  A joy to have watched this man play.  Few people I've met have approached their profession with the type of intensity and passion that Ray had on the field.  You will be missed.

IrvSnyder
IrvSnyder

The troatslasher that got away with murder and payed his way out of it is giving it up.Hope i dont see his face no more.People like him and OJ make me sick.

 

MattK
MattK

ever heard of OJ Simpson? 

DEdwardStanley
DEdwardStanley

There will always be those who insult greatness.  

joeshine730
joeshine730

Ray Lewis was involved big time with the  murderof  2 kids from Akron and got off clean. That should be Ray's legacy- Murder and walking away because he had money and the dead kids didn't.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Isn't it amazing how many ignorant comments can be posted in so short a time?

DonHole
DonHole

"My last ride" - isn't that what he said on way home from the murder in the limo?

JoeMauro
JoeMauro

good bye MURDERER! Maybe now he will be arrested.

Audio
Audio

That's really great news... is NOW thew time he reports to jail for being guilty of murder???

JonathanWoyke
JonathanWoyke

and who gave all of you perfect people the right to judge? Most of you sound pathetic, passing judgment on someone for actions you have no proof he committed. Some fo you have a rude awakening comin up when the bell tolls. Anyway RIP to the Ravens. Losing Lewis and most likely Reed to retirment, Suggs isnt the same and you havent re-signed your mediocre quarterback---looks like the Ravens as we know them are now done.

JakeSokol
JakeSokol

That should be right after next weekend then.

d3
d3

no matter your thoughts on his personal life, you have to appreciate watching an all timer.  Not only did you get to see an all time great, you got to witness one of the top two greatest middle linebackers in history.  love that position 

jofish
jofish

 @bobbyburke83 Actually, he WASN'T found not guilty.  Look at the facts before you comment.  The murder charge against him was dropped because they didn't have enough evidence against him or his 2 conspirators so they made a plea bargain with Lewis.  He plead guilty to obstruction of justice and testified against his two friends (still both in prison, btw).   The reason he got a plea deal?  Big money lawyers and they thought that he might be a more believable witness given his celebrity status. 

DougKaiser
DougKaiser

 @UR0515 SHUT UP?  We don't get to have an opinion?  I am so sorry for offending you.  Please everyone who believes as I do that Lewis is a scumbag, two-faced murderer please cease and desist with your obviously derogatory statements and allow the Lewis worshipers to peacefully continue washing his feet and seeking his blessing in their poor deprived lives.

 

jofish
jofish

 @UR0515 Just because he is a great football player doesn't mean he isn't a scumbag person.  In my book, if you commit murder you won't be getting any hero worship from me.

MattK
MattK

 @DEdwardStanley or just those who understand that this murderer paid his way to innocence.  

RogueDiplomat
RogueDiplomat

 @joeshine730 His co-defendants, who didn't have money, were acquitted after a trial. This was a non-case....

AlfredMunsell
AlfredMunsell

 @Rickapolis Are you including your own, or does that only apply to people whose opinions differ from yours?

RoyCrim
RoyCrim

 @DonHole total tool...not a fan...Ray's crime he refused to co-operate with a Cracker police force...the same police force that got their man with Richard Jewel....

RoyCrim
RoyCrim

 @JoeMauro think you are funny ...loser italian trolls know all about murder and paying off police...simpleton

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

 @JakeSokol Boo! I think they can beat the Colts. especially at home. After that, though, it's a tough road.

DougKaiser
DougKaiser

 @d3 Really?  We HAVE to appreciate a lying killer because he had money to pay the victim's family and laugh at the cops?  Not

UR0515
UR0515

@DougKaiser everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Just make sure it is an informed opinion. My point was that nobody on this thread including myself can say with any certainty what happened on that fateful night. What I can say with certainty as a football fan that he was arguably the greatest linebacker of all time and will be missed on the field.

MattK
MattK

 @RoyCrim  you're a fool.  hes a murderer and should be imprisoned or killed. 

NPTriology
NPTriology

 @AlfredMunsell  @JonathanWoyke

 Jonathan isn't passing judgment on you insolent fools, he is stating how your veiled attempts at moral justice on a conflicted issue are not justified or even worthy of arguing with. You all need to get over the fact Lewis is a great player...and also the fact your favorite team probably didn't even make the playoffs. Bitter eh?

d3
d3

@DougKaiser @d3When did I say you have to appreciate a killer? I said appreciate the fact you got to see one of the greatest, if not thee greatest middle linebacker in the history of pro football. Never said like Or hate the mans game or personal life. I said appreciate the fact you were alive to see what many consider the best at a great position in a sport you obviously watch. Basically use your brain fool.

RoyCrim
RoyCrim

 @DougKaiser  @d3 oh so you were on the jury?...this site must have all the rejects ESPN has banned....

pandah462
pandah462

 @jofish Last I checked, Italian isn't a race.  However, I agree that CroyRim is a fool.

gshalom.levine
gshalom.levine

 @DougKaiser  @d3 To paraphrase Justice Brandeis in  Abrams v. United States "A silly statement by an unknown man should not be considered illegal", so I retract my previous statements;opine away,..

DougKaiser
DougKaiser

 @gshalom.levine  @d3 Dammit!  I didn't know you set the rules for commenting.  I'm so sorry for breaking your rules.  If you would have the decency to please post all comment rules and guidelines at the top of the page then I am sure you would no longer have to worry about being offended by those of us that believe in free speech.  Vive Le Cuba!!

gshalom.levine
gshalom.levine

 @DougKaiser  @d3 If you are offering an opinion, as you claim, please have the decency to preface your claims as "in my opinion"; otherwise your statements will be construed as claiming to be evindentiary by any normal thinking person. In my opinion, no evidence means that any statement not clearly presented as an opinion is simply at best misguided and at worst bigoted. Please feel free to opine as you wish, but please make it clear that you are offering an opinion. 

DougKaiser
DougKaiser

 @gshalom.levine  @d3 What?  I don't get to have an opinion?  I'm so sorry for offending you.  Please everyone that believes as I do that Lewis is a scumbag murderer please cease and desist with your obviously derogatory statements and allow the Lewis worshipers to peacefully continue washing his feet and seeking his blessing in their poor deprived lives.

gshalom.levine
gshalom.levine

 @DougKaiser  @d3 If anyone has any proof or even a scintilla of evidence concerning his guilt in the deaths, please present it, or cease offering your obviously bigoted ideas as gospel.

DougKaiser
DougKaiser

 @d3  @DougKaiser  @d3When Again I don't HAVE to appreciate anything about him.  Go the parents of the guy he killed and tell them how much they should appreciate his murdering, scumbag self thumb his nose at them and the entire world every Sunday.  He's a killer.  Nothing he does will ever change that.