Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis, of the Baltimore Ravens, announced Wednesday (January 2) that he will retire at the end of this season, closing one of the greatest careers in NFL history.
The 37-year-old NFL legend is calling it quits after 17 seasons, and said it was "time for me to create a new legacy".
According to ESPN.com, Lewis is set to return in the Ravens' wild-card game against the Colts on Sunday (January 6) after tearing his triceps two months ago. It will likely be his final game in Baltimore, even if the Ravens win because of their #4 seed entering the playoffs.
"I talked to my team today," Lewis said this week. "I talked to them about life in general. And everything that starts has an end. For me, today, I told my team that this will be my last ride."
During his illustrious career, Lewis has gone to 12 Pro Bowls, been named first-team All-Pro seven times, and been voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice. According to ESPN.com, just four players in NFL history have been selected to more than Pro Bowls than Lewis (Bruce Matthews, 14; Jerry Rice, 13; Reggie White, 13; Tony Gonzalez, 13).
He also led the Ravens to the 2000 Super Bowl title, where he was named MVP. He was the key figure that season in a defense that set the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season.
Lewis hinted at retirement last summer, when he said he couldn't see himself playing past age 37. Well, he turned 37 in May.