Two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and 12-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis, who ended his legendary NFL career by helping the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII last month, is joining ESPN as a NFL studio analyst. The two-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer will appear on Monday Night Countdown, Sunday Night Countdown and SportsCenter, while also contributing to ESPN’s annual Super Bowl coverage.
Lewis will travel to the site of each week’s Monday Night Football game where he will offer analysis alongside Stuart Scott, Hall of Famer Steve Young and his former Ravens teammate Trent Dilfer during the pre-game Countdown and post-game SportsCenter. Lewis will contribute to Sunday NFL Countdown throughout the season and make a weekly appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning. The 17-year NFL veteran will also have the opportunity to host specials similar to Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series. He is expected to start on August 1.
“Ray is a tremendous addition to our NFL roster and he will have an immediate impact on our coverage,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production. “One of the most accomplished players in NFL history, fans will be drawn to his knowledge, experience and, of course, the passion he always exudes for the game.”
Lewis added: “ESPN is such a big part of how fans watch and experience sports, especially the NFL, so I’m excited to join their team. I’m ready to bring the same level of passion to this next phase of my life as I brought to the field during my years as a player. I can’t wait to work with my new teammates, many of whom I’ve already known for years.”
Lewis played his entire 17-year career (1996-2012) with the Ravens and was part of both of the franchise’s Super Bowl titles – XXXV (named MVP) and XLVII. His 12 Pro Bowl selections are tied for the fifth-most in NFL history and most by a linebacker. He is also one of only six players to earn the AP Defensive Player of the Year Award multiple times (2000 and 2003). Named to the 2000s All-Decade Team, Lewis played in 228 games during his career, amassing 41.5 sacks and 31 interceptions. The second draft pick in Ravens history – the No. 26 pick overall in the 1996 NFL Draft – Lewis is the all-time franchise leader in many categories, including tackles (2,643), fumble recoveries (31), seasons (17), games played (228) and playoff games (11).
Lewis made a guest appearance on ESPN’s NFL Live last summer, and he had a similar role on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown at Super Bowl XLI in South Florida in 2007. He was the featured athlete on the cover of EA Sports’ Madden NFL 2005, and he was profiled in NFL Network’s documentary series A Football Life.
Lewis is involved in charitable activities, motivational speaking and mentoring. He started the Ray Lewis 52 Foundation, a non-profit corporation which provides personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth. In May 2010, a portion of Baltimore’s North Avenue was renamed “Ray Lewis Way” in honor of his charitable work; similar honors include a 2006 JB Award (named for CBS broadcaster James Brown) and an “Act of Kindness” Award for his community work.