It's now Tuesday morning and so far, there has not been a Ray Lewis sighting on his status on returning as a Baltimore Raven, or any other team for that matter. When all the news began appearing on Friday of last week, it was first reported that Ray was upset with the Ravens apparent "low-ball" offer of $24 million with $17 guaranteed and would not be returning to the Ravens to finish out his Hall of Fame career. Then Dallas said they had no money to spend due to the need to re-sign DeMarcus Ware next year and the New York Jets went and spent a ton of money on Ray's sidekick, Bart Scott, outbidding the Ravens on a six year $48 million deal.
So where does that leave Ray? According to most, the Baltimore Ravens remain his best fit by far and seem to be the only team willing to pay him the most money. All last season, all we heard from other teams' fans was that Ray was an aging linebacker, not nearly as strong, fast or as sure a tackler as in his prime. All Ravens fans openly acknowledged that obvious fact, but still saw the best middle linebacker in the NFL play his heart out every Sunday, regardless of his age. Now it looks like the other teams feel the same way as their fans, unwilling to pay the man for his past accomplishments and seeing way too much cash going to a guy that has two or three years at most left in him and has been injured two of the three past years.
Therefore, the only team willing to pay his worth now as well as reward him for his past contrbutions are your Baltimore Ravens. Owner Steve Bisciotti said he would do what it took to return Ray to Baltimore and Ozzie has been patient with the man. Now these two guys may actually be bidding against themselves, as the Ravens might be the only team in the bidding at this level. Perhaps Ray is waiting for another team to open a spot on their roster and realize what a difference Ray can be off the field as a mentor to the younger guys on their team. However, how many teams need a leader in the locker room and what established players would be willing to step aside for a new guy, even if it's Ray?
Ray had reportedly said he would make a decision on Monday (yesterday). However, the media had it wrong on Friday, as Ray said he had never made those comments about not returning to Baltimore. Hopefully this will resolve itself sometime this week and the news that Ray Lewis will be finishing his career in Baltimore will be welcomed by all and allow the focus to begin on the NFL Draft next month.