NFL rumors are swirling around Ray Lewis. According to Sporting News, the legendary Baltimore Ravens linebacker is about to be fired by ESPN as a football analyst. The move comes as the sports network is going through quite the transformation period. Several of their biggest names have been poached by other networks. The upcoming dismissal has many pondering the future of Lewis. Some feel that he will find another job in broadcasting, while others think that he might finally decide to get into coaching.
ESPN’s coverage of football on Sunday is about to change. Former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka has been dismissed, but he will remain with the network. Chris Carter is set to be fired. He has been with ESPN since 2008. Trent Dilfer is on the verge of leaving the team, with some believing that he might be hired by the San Francisco 49ers in an unknown capacity.
Some familiar faces are being brought in by ESPN to replace their broadcast team. The recently retired Charles Woodson is joining the team. Matt Hasselbeck has finally retired from the NFL after what seemed to be an eternity. ESPN is bringing him on board. He should be a welcomed addition. Chris Carter is being replaced by another former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver in Randy Moss, who had a brief stint with Fox Sports.
Though he’s quite animated, ESPN is fine with dropping Ray Lewis because there were some negatives with his broadcasting gig. For starters, the network realized that there are still fans who resent Lewis because of his previous connections to criminal activities. There are also a lot of fans that feel that Ray is a bit too outspoken at the wrong time. ESPN felt that they weren’t losing as much as they were gaining by letting Lewis go.
There has also been some on air controversy surrounding Ray Lewis that might have caused ESPN to fire him. He secretly gave a pep talk to the Buffalo Bills before he commented on a game that they were playing against the New England Patriots. Lewis was doing it as a favor to his former defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan. He also waved his credit card to the cameras to declare that he would pay half of the fine that the NFL levied on San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks.
Ray Lewis will do his due diligence and have his representatives see what broadcasting gigs are available. Another network might like the fiery demeanor that Lewis brings with him. It does break the monotonous style that many commentators utilize. While he does struggle at times to convey what is on his mind, Lewis has a ton of experience in the NFL, so he brings that aspect to the booth. A lot of fans prefer to hear the perspective of guys that have done well in the league.
If Ray Lewis decides to get into the coaching game in the NFL, he should have a couple of options. He remains on very good terms with Rex Ryan, so the Buffalo Bills are an option. Lewis can easily start as an assistant linebackers coach. The Baltimore Ravens might also be interested as well, as John Harbaugh remains the head coach there.
A guy like Ray Lewis is going to find a job somewhere or another. He’ll still be involved with the NFL, whether it’s coaching the players that are currently in the league or talking about the games that are being played on the field. Regardless of what he opts to do, Lewis is going to generate a good amount of attention.
[Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images]