The Baltimore Ravens linebacker and franchise cornerstone plans on retiring following this year’s post season. Lewis was drafted by the Ravens in 1996, the franchise’s inaugural season, and has been with them ever since.
Lewis spoke with his teammates privately telling them “this will be my last ride.” He then made a statement during the Ravens’ media availability, according to the Baltimore Sun.
“I’ve ran my course. It’s time for me to go create a different legacy,” Lewis said today with several of his teammates watching. “It’s a new chapter that I’ve already planned out.”
Lewis is expect to return from a triceps injury that has sidelined him for much of the season. He told reporters “there is no reason for me not to play Sunday” in their game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Sunday’s game against the Colts will be a special one in Baltimore as it will likely be the last time Lewis plays a home game at M&T Bank Stadium.
Lewis’ 17-year career has been one of the most illustrious in NFL history and will go down as one of the greatest middle linebackers to ever to do it. He was voted into 13 Pro Bowls, he was a 7-time All Pro, 2-time Defensive Player of the Year, and a Super Bowl MVP. He recorded 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions in 17 years.
Lewis was always the most intense player on whatever field he stepped on and was the leader of the Ravens defense during his 17 years in Baltimore. He gave the franchise its identity, and was Baltimore’s heart and soul. The Ravens haven’t gone a single season without Lewis as a member of the team. He’s synonymous with the organization and it’s going to be difficult to see him walk away.