Ray Lewis surprised teammates and fans on Wednesday when he announced in a team meeting that he will retire after the Ravens’ playoff run.
Lewis told teammates, that “this will be my last ride” and later told reporters that “it’s time for me to create a new legacy.” Well apparently, part of creating that new legacy involves working as a NFL analyst at ESPN.
According Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, Lewis is close to signing a multi-year contract with the ESPN to be part of the network’s Monday Night Countdown program as well as radio appearance.
According to Deitsch, Lewis had been meeting with several networks during the season looking for the right fit. And he ultimately found it with ESPN.
According to multiple sources, Lewis and his representatives from talent agency William Morris Endeavor met during the season with several of the NFL broadcast networks.
One of Lewis’ main requirements, according to sources, was flexibility in his schedule so he could attend the games of his son, Ray Lewis III, who will be a freshman running back/defensive back next season at his father’s alma mater, the University of Miami. Such scheduling made Lewis an unlikely fit for a full-time role on the Sunday morning shows aired by CBS or Fox where he’d be required to be part of pre-show meetings on either Saturday or early Sunday. There is a possibility Lewis could work for ESPN on some Sundays depending on his travel. Given his star power, it’s very likely Lewis would have a role on ESPN’s multiple-day coverage of April’s NFL draft.
There are some that don’t believe Lewis will stay retired, but it looks like Lewis had been planning to make this season his last for a while.