The Ravens will waste no time in honoring one of the franchise's best all-time players.
The team announced Monday that linebacker Ray Lewis, who retired following the Super Bowl after playing 17 seasons with the Ravens, will be enshrined in the team's Ring of Honor at halftime of the Sept. 22 game against the Houston Texans.
That is the Ravens' second home game of the season. They'll celebrate their Super Bowl championship before their home opener on Sept. 15 against the Cleveland Browns.
Lewis' ceremony will coincide with the return to M&T Bank Stadium of his long-time teammate, Ed Reed. The Pro Bowl safety signed with the Texans in March after playing 11 seasons with the Ravens. Reed and Lewis had long been considered the faces of the Ravens' vaunted defense.
"Every moment I’ve ever had in this building, what this organization has done for me, what this city has done for me, what my fans have done for me, what the mutual respect for different players have done for me around this league, I can never take any of that back," Lewis said during the news conference when he announced his retirement. "That’s the ultimate when you leave this game. You leave it with one heck of a legacy. Hopefully, I’ve done a heck of a job doing it, but it’s time for me to go create a different legacy.”
In the Ring of Honor, Lewis will join running back Earnest Byner (2001), eight members of the Baltimore Colts inducted in 2002 (Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Gino Marchetti, John Mackey, Jim Parker and Ted Hendricks), former Ravens owner Art Modell (2003), defensive end Michael McCrary (2004), linebacker Peter Boulware (2006), offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (2008), kicker Matt Stover (2011) and running back Jamal Lewis (2012).
Lewis, who the Ravens drafted in the first round of the 1996 Draft, was a 13-time Pro Bowl selection and and a seven-time, first-team All-Pro. He was the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2000 and 2003, and the 2000 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.
He is the Ravens' all-time leader in tackles (2,643) and fumbles recovered (20), and Lewis is second in interceptions (31) to Reed.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said earlier this offseason that the organization will erect a state of Lewis outside M&T Bank Stadium, but the team said Monday that won't be ready for his Ring of Honor induction.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun