That was the only remaining question as to the future enshrinement of Ray Lewis into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it has now been answered. After announcing his intentions to retire at the end of the season to spend more time with his children, Lewis will be eligible for enshrinement during the Summer of 2018.
Ravens fans will get their first true taste of Canton, Ohio as Jonathan Ogden will likely be selected as part of the Class of 2013 after being nominated prior to the start of the season. Ogden was the first ever draft pick for the franchise, had a fantastic career in Baltimore but with all due respect, his enshrinement will look like an appetizer compared to what will happen when Lewis heads to Canton.
Three players will be enshrined alongside Lewis – but will one of them be his teammate Ed Reed?
Video: Ray Lewis at peace with decision
After spending the past 11 seasons together, it only seems fitting that Reed and Lewis should head into the Hall of Fame together – however, Reed hasn’t expressed any indication that he’ll retire at the end of this season. Reed is in the final year of his contract with the Ravens and after already currently making $7 million this season, it seems that Reed may be too rich for the team’s taste.
For most of this season, Reed has played through injury, but was one of two players on defense to start every game. Given that he was a no-show at mandatory mini-camp earlier this season and holding out for more money, it seems Reed would likely want to play for the highest bidder next season.
Given Reed’s actions during the start of the season and that they were financially motivated, the chances aren’t likely that Reed and Lewis will head into the Hall of Fame together. Chances are, Ravens fans are going to have to take back-to-back trips to Canton instead.
It’s probably not a bad thing that Canton will become more of a frequent travel destination for Baltimore football fans. It means your “new” football team has done pretty well.