Has Ray Lewis vs. Ravens turned ugly already this morning?

February 27, 2009 | Nestor Aparicio

Adam Schefter of NFL.com just posted a bombshell on the Ravens and Ray Lewis on the league’s official website. Schefter, quoting ties close to Lewis, says that Lewis is miffed beyond repair at the offer from the Ravens and the negotiating and that Lewis will not be coming back to Baltimore. Essentially, Schefter says that Ray Lewis will sign anywhere BUT Baltimore. Or potentially retire (which we find VERY hard to believe).

I’ve been saying for years – YES, YEARS – that when it was time to end his playing days in Baltimore that I would be shocked if it ended with peace, harmony and that long-awaited “statue” of Ray Lewis wearing his No. 52 at M&T Bank Stadium. It’s fairy tale stuff and gives us the warm fuzzies but it’s always been a longshot given the economic climate for a 34-year old linebacker whose legend will now outweigh his future contributions.

My views are well founded and well researched after 13 years of following Lewis’ career here and his business dealings. Ray’s play on the field has been superhuman. His “off the field” decisions have always been a bit suspect and flawed. I have simply called Ray Lewis “mercurial.” Just the fact that this story has been written from “inside the league” shows how emotional this is becoming.

The fact that free agency has begun and that Lewis is up for the highest bidder should be a clear indicator that he’s not loyal to Baltimore or the Ravens in any significant way. Perhaps Bisciotti has been naïve in believing that it would never come to this.

But it has.

Ray Lewis is a free agent today. He can go anywhere he wants to go. The Ravens feel like they’ve been fair. We’re 11 hours into free agency and no one has truly topped their number — not yet, anyway. And word is coming from Camp 52 that Ray is quite unhappy with the treatment and offer he’s received from the Ravens. Is it posturing? Who knows?

Meanwhile, last night the Ravens leaked to their media partner that they’ve upped their guaranteed money to $17 million.

But the battle is public now and Ray’s “feelings” come from a very credible source, the very source employed by the league to report accurately on these matters.

Schefter’s views are there and a click away, but today’s topic will be quite heated at 2 p.m. when “Limited Access” brought to you by Royal Farms convenes.

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