Ray Lewis Set to Retire at End of Ravens' Playoff Run

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Ray Lewis Set to Retire at End of Ravens' Playoff Run

An era is coming to an end in Baltimore, as Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis told the team today that he will retire when the season ends. 

Here are Lewis' exact words, via the Ravens' official Twitter feed:

Per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Lewis also told the team his thinking behind the decision and what he expects the immediate future to hold for the Ravens in the postseason:

Zrebiec also had this quote from linebacker Terrell Suggs, who has been teammates with Lewis since being drafted by the Ravens in 2003:

Running back Ray Rice said this upon hearing the news that Lewis will be retiring (via Ravens' official Twitter):

Even as the years kept moving along and Lewis’ body began breaking down, it is still a shock to hear that the superstar linebacker will be walking away from the NFL.

He is arguably the greatest inside linebacker in NFL history and was voted the greatest player in Ravens history by Mike Duffy and Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com in a list published in June 2011. 

Lewis has been the face of the Ravens franchise since he was drafted in 1996. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XXV, and he played in 13 Pro Bowls during his career. He was also named to the All-Pro First Team seven times and won NFL Defensive Player of the Year two times. 

The last two years have been difficult for Lewis. He has played in just 18 games since the start of 2011 due to injuries. He missed the last 10 games of this season with a torn triceps, but he will be back for the team in its playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. 

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