Ravens' Ray Lewis says he'll retire after season

"Last ride": Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis . AP
"Last ride": Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis . AP
Posted: January 04, 2013

Ray Lewis spent 17 seasons instilling fear in his opponents while serving as an inspirational leader for the Baltimore Ravens.

Now he's poised and eager to become a full-time father.

Lewis announced Wednesday he will end his brilliant NFL career after the Ravens complete their 2013 playoff run.

Lewis has been sidelined since Oct. 14 with a torn right triceps. The 13-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker intends to return Sunday to face the Indianapolis Colts in what will almost certainly be his final home game.

"Everything that starts has an end," the 37-year-old Lewis said. "For me, today, I told my team that this will be my last ride."

Lewis will walk away from the game because he wants to spend more time with his sons.

Lewis was the AP defensive player of the year in 2000, the same season he was voted Super Bowl MVP. Lewis was also defensive player of the year in 2003, and is the only player in NFL history with at least 40 career sacks and 30 interceptions.

After being drafted 26th overall in Baltimore's first draft, in 1996, Lewis became a fixture at middle linebacker - and a beloved figure in Baltimore. He remained that way even after his alleged involvement in a double-murder in Atlanta in early 2000.

In June of that year, a judge approved a deal allowing Lewis to avoid murder charges and jail time by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor and testifying against two codefendants. Within a year, Lewis was in the Super Bowl, leading the Ravens to their only NFL championship.

AP on special teams?

Adrian Peterson has been Minnesota's most irreplaceable player for years, piling up 2,097 yards rushing this season alone to put himself in the mix for the NFL's most valuable player award.

This unparalleled contribution to the Vikings and their success, however, hasn't been enough to satisfy Peterson. One of the sport's most relentless competitors, he would like to play on special teams, too.

"For the past two years I've been trying to get in on field-goal block. Come in off the edge, you know?" Peterson said. ". . . Kickoff return, I wouldn't mind getting back there. I'm in it to win."

"He always asks," special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer said. ". . . I always say yes, and then I ask the head coach and he says no." - Associated Press

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