It didn’t take long after Ray Lewis announced his retirement for him to line up his next gig.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, the Ravens linebacker will join ESPN’s herd of former players as an analyst. Deitsch reports Lewis will sign a multi-year deal, with a significant role on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown. An ESPN spokesman declined comment.
Lewis’ ability to captivate an audience (whether it’s a locker room or folks sitting in recliners) is legendary, and he had plenty of suitors.
His representatives met with “several of the NFL broadcast networks” during the season, and one of the things that drew him to ESPN was the flexibility to attend his son’s games at the University of Miami on fall Saturdays, rather than prepping for Sunday shows on other networks.
“Ray Lewis has an intensity about him and a way of communicating that is very infectious,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus told Deitsch. “He is a bigger-than-life personality, very articulate and [has] an incredible passion for the game. If Ray Lewis decided to take that same passion and put it into a broadcasting career, I think he would be a terrific studio analyst or I imagine game analyst, too.”
The biggest challenge might be figuring out who to crowbar aside to make room for Lewis, as ESPN often struggles to balance the contributions of the many already on hand. With a set full of Keyshawn Johnsons and Cris Carters, they only have room for so much bluster.