Former Ravens LB Ray Lewis Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018

From 1996 to 2012, Ray Lewis was the emotional leader of a Ravens linebacker core that usually played well, and Saturday he was bestowed with the highest honor of the game, going into the Hall of Fame the first time on the ballot.

Drafted with the 26th overall pick of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Ravens, Lewis and fellow Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden were the first new players acquired by the franchise after moving out of Cleveland and to a new home. They became the backbone of the Ravens, helping the team to win a Super Bowl in the 2000 season, when Lewis was named Super Bowl MVP.

Lewis would go on to play a remarkable 17 seasons at middle linebacker for a single franchise, making the Pro Bowl 13 times — including a final time at the age of 36 — and being named to the All-Pro team seven times in his career. Lewis produced 31 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles, 41.5 sacks and recorded more than 2,000 total tackles in his career. Lewis netted Defensive Player of the Year honors twice (2000, 2003) and would bookend his incredible run with the Ravens by helping them to win a Super Bowl in 2012, his final year in the NFL.

Lewis’ career was not without controversy: in January of 2000, two of Lewis’s friends were arrested and indicted on murder charges after two people were stabbed outside of a Super Bowl party in Atlanta. Lewis had murder charges dismissed and he pled guilty to obstruction of justice. He was also fined $250,000 by the NFL for his role in the incident.

In 17 seasons with the Ravens, Lewis played in 228 games, recording 41.5 sacks with 31 interceptions and three touchdowns on INT returns.

Joining Urlacher in the class of 2018 are Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Brian Dawkins, and Ray Lewis, plus senior selections Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer, and contributor Bobby Beathard.

The ceremony for Lewis and the class of 2018 will take place on Saturday, August 4th in Canton, Ohio.

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