BALTIMORE (CBSMiami) – Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis has told the team this will be his final season and that he will retire at the end of the Ravens' playoff run, according to CBSSports.com.
Lewis has been one of the NFL's greatest linebackers for his entire 17 year career and has spent his entire career with the Ravens. He helped establish Baltimore's reputation as one of the fiercest defensive teams in the NFL.
Lewis was the heart and soul of the team throughout his career and his leadership and passion were matched on and off the field with stellar performances. His career reached a pinnacle when he led the team to a Super Bowl victory.
But, his career was also marred by a murder trial following Super Bowl XXXIV. Lewis was indicted on murder charges following a deadly stabbing during a fight. Lewis eventually worked out a deal with prosecutors and testified in the trial of the other suspects.
Lewis rehabilitated his image in the NFL and in the eyes of fans after the murder charge was dropped. He spends much of his time working in the community and also has served as a mentor to numerous Ravens players throughout the years.
For his career, Lewis racked up 2050 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles, 31 interceptions, and three defensive touchdowns. Lewis has been named the Defensive Player of the Year twice and is a former Super Bowl MVP. He's been to the Pro Bowl thirteen times.
Lewis played his college ball at the University of Miami where he began building his legend as one of the best linebackers in the country before being drafted by the Ravens in 1996.
Lewis said he knew it was time to call it a career when he came to Florida and saw his son who's going to the University of Miami starting next year.
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