After announcing that he would retire after the Baltimore Ravens' season ends, Ray Lewis is reportedly going to become a member of the media by joining ESPN as an analyst on Monday Night Countdown.
According to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, an announcement won't be made official until the Ravens' season is over, but sources told him Lewis "is close" to signing a deal with ESPN:
At ESPN, Lewis is expected to have a significant role on the network's Monday Night Countdown program. As with most ESPN NFL talent, Lewis would also be featured on multiple platforms, including ESPN Radio.
Deitsch's report also states that every network with an NFL contract lists players and coaches who would potentially make good broadcasters. Lewis made the list, with some thinking "he can have a Charles Barkley-like impact in the studio."
Former NFL players have been hit and miss as analysts on television. It requires a certain set of skills, aside from just knowing the game, that some people just don't have.
While we won't have any idea what Lewis will be like on air until he takes the job, he would seem to be a natural fit for an analyst position on television and radio. If you have ever heard him talk, he has a charisma and passion in his voice that is hard to match in the NFL.
Another key trait to being a successful analyst is being able to express your opinions in a clear, concise manner. Some former players are afraid to dive too deep in their analysis for fear of alienating a friend and/or former teammate.
But again, Lewis has never been shy about sitting in front of the camera and telling you exactly what he thinks in a very matter-of-fact fashion.
Assuming Lewis signs on with the network, ESPN will have pulled off a major coup if Lewis turns out to be half as entertaining, engaging and informative in his new gig as Charles Barkley has been for TNT.