Ray Lewis announced his retirement today, but one of Lewis’s friends and former teammates isn’t so sure that Lewis is really done.
Deion Sanders came out of retirement in 2004 to play with Lewis and the Ravens, and Sanders now thinks Lewis may come out of retirement as well: Sanders said he believes that if Lewis gets completely healthy with some time to rest this offseason, and if Lewis is convinced that the Ravens have what it takes to win the Super Bowl next year, then Lewis will reconsider and play the 2013 season.
“I don’t believe it — I really don’t,” Sanders said in an interview with Andrew Siciliano on NFL Network. “We all know that he’s been hampered with injuries over the last several years.”
Sanders said he believes Lewis will re-assess the state of the Ravens after the postseason, and if Lewis thinks a Super Bowl is within their reach a year from now, then Lewis will try to make it there.
“He could say, ‘You know, I could do this again because we’re almost there,'” Sanders said. “But if they’re not close, then I can see Ray Lewis saying, ‘This is a wrap.'”
Sanders said he doesn’t think Lewis will flip-flop on retirement as often as Brett Favre did, but he does think Lewis could change his mind at some point this offseason.
“Brett was on a carousel and he changed his mind so many times we got tired of it,” Sanders said. “I don’t think Ray Lewis is that kind of guy. He’s always been a definitive guy.”
Lewis sounded definitive today, saying he had accomplished what he wanted to accomplish on the field, and that he was excited about seeing his son play at the University of Miami next season. But Sanders knows Lewis well, and thinks that the competitive juices may start flowing next season and lead Lewis to give it one more season.