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Ray Lewis retirement: Reportedly nearing deal with ESPN

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Ray Lewis will join ESPN's coverage of the NFL when he retires after the 2013 postseason, reports say. The future Hall of Fame linebacker is a hot commodity amongst television networks for his "bigger-than-life personality."

Patrick Smith

Ray Lewis will move into the television studio when he retires at the season's end, as the linebacker is reportedly near a deal with ESPN to join their Monday Night Countdown show, according to media reporter Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated.

Lewis has reportedly been meeting with networks throughout the season, most of which he has been injured for. Deitsch reports that many networks considered Lewis high on their lists of NFL players that would make good potential broadcasters, making his services highly sought after. However, Lewis considered ESPN a good fit out of a desire to see his son, Ray Lewis III, play college football for the University of Miami -- a requirement that would not fit with networks that air games on the weekends. Although Lewis is apparently close to signing a deal, no official word will be made until his NFL career is officially over.

Lewis, a 12-time Pro Bowler, two-time defensive player of the year, and former Super Bowl MVP, announced his impending retirement Wednesday. The 37-year-old has been out since October with a torn triceps, but will be ready to play in the Ravens' postseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts.

This story was originally published on SBNation.com.