Ray Lewis, ESPN close to a deal, report says

January 3, 2013

Is Ray Lewis’s personality too hot for TV? (Patrick Smith / Getty Images)

Although Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hasn’t hung up his shoulder pads for the final time yet, he already has a job lined up.

Lewis and ESPN are close to agreement on a multi-year deal in which he would have a significant role on the “Monday Night Countdown” show, SI.Com’s Richard Deitsch reports. Lewis announced Wednesday that he will retire when the Ravens’ postseason run ends and no formal announcement of his next stop is expected until then. The Ravens host the Indianapolis Colts in a wild-card playoff game Sunday. 

The deal with ESPN would include appearances across platforms and would meet one of Lewis’s post-Ravens requirements: a schedule flexible enough to allow him to watch his son, Ray Lewis III, play football next fall at the University of Miami. Appearing on the CBS or Fox Sunday morning shows would require him to work Saturdays.

Lewis is a charismatic, outspoken figure in the mold of, Deitsch writes, Charles Barkley. But given Lewis’s alleged involvement in a 2000 murder case, he’s not quite the quirky, amusing character that Barkley is. Will his past affect his future TV career? 

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · January 3, 2013