I’m sure there will be plenty of discussion today now that we’ve all heard from Ray Lewis for the first time since the season-ending loss to the Steelers in the AFC Championship.
If you missed the interview on today’s edition of The Comcast Morning Show, you can hear it (in the audio vault) or see it all at WNST.net.
As we were talking to Ray yesterday, the first thing that dawned on me was – “you really have to BE here to see Ray’s mannerisms, facial expressions and body language” to appreciate the conviction of his words.
Fortunately, through the wonders of the internet, you’ll actually be able to see all of that if you check out the video interview at WNST.net.
In an interesting way, Ray Lewis is probably a guy who is much better suited for radio and TV than newspaper – when it comes to quotes and such – because he’s animated and highly energized. It’s hard to make words mean something special in the newspaper. But when you can HEAR it in a man’s voice or SEE it in his face, you have the ability to make a judgement on how important the subject is to him.
So, here’s my take on Ray Lewis and his current situation. This is based solely on the 15-minute interview we did with him…other than a handshake after the interview, we didn’t have any kind of “off the record” conversation or anything like that. Don’t mix what I “hope” happens with Ray with what I “think” might happen. They’re totally separate.
I want Ray to sign here. I think the Ravens should pay him. I said that throughout the season and nothing I’ve seen (or heard) has changed my opinion on that.
But…I think the $12 million signing bonus offer from Ozzie last August was a gamble that might turn out to the rare dice-roll from Oz that turned out poorly.
Here’s what I think having talked to Ray and having sat in his presence and watched him react to questions and answer them: I believe Ray has come to terms with the fact that it might be over in Baltimore.
It might have all started in August when the club low-balled him with $12 million and Ray’s agent countered with a $20 million request and the Ravens said, “let’s just put this on hold until the season ends.”
That’s always code word for: “we’re gonna take a gamble that maybe you have an off year and we’ll wind up getting you for OUR price when it’s all said and done.”
Only problem with that? You shouldn’t EVER bet against Ray Lewis.
That’s essentially what the Ravens did when they didn’t sign #52 last August.
And, now, I think Ray looks and talks like a man who is at peace with the fact that he’s given everything he could have given and if it comes to pass that he moves on to a new team, so be it.
Ray’s most eye opening quote of the interview: “The whole thing will be done in five minutes…”
That means, simply, “the high bidder gets me.”
“The whole thing will be done in five minutes”…doesn’t mean, “It’s gonna be awfully tough for me to leave Baltimore.” It means, “when I get that phone call from my agent and he says XXXX team just offered you the number we’re looking for…” – the whole thing gets done in five minutes from that point.
I hope that call comes from the Ravens.
It SHOULD come from the Ravens.
But, I’m convinced – now – that Ray is at peace with the whole process. If he has to leave Baltimore, he will, and he’ll have no regrets.