OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Speaking to the local media for the first time since tearing his right triceps in mid-October, Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis announced his intention to retire at the end of the season on Wednesday.
Finishing his 17th season in Baltimore and regarded as the greatest player in the history of the franchise and one of the best defensive players in NFL history, the 37-year-old made the announcement as coach John Harbaugh and current teammates watched along with the large media gathering on hand as the Ravens made preparations for their wild-card round meeting with the Indianapolis Colts.
Lewis cited a desire to spend more time with his family in explaining why he was choosing to walk away from the game.
The 13-time Pro Bowl and seven-time All-Pro selection was the 26th overall pick of the 1996 draft and is the only remaining member of the inaugural 1996 team. Lewis was named the AP’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and 2003 and was voted Super Bowl XXXV Most Valuable Player in the Ravens’ 34-7 victory over the New York Giants on Jan. 28, 2001.