There are several players that the Cincinnati Bengals know pretty well. Like Ray Lewis. Like Ed Reed. Like Hines Ward. Guys that have been with their respective teams, playing the Bengals through the years. And other players have come along, like Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Terrell Suggs. We can pick these guys out of lineup, we know their techniques, have seen them quiet frequently over the years.
That's why when a report surfaced Friday morning that the Baltimore Ravens were not buying out Ray Lewis' contract took us by surprise. The Baltimore Sun wrote:
There have been a lot of rumors swirling about the Ravens offering linebacker Ray Lewis a financial package to retire, but Lewis laughed about that option, and Newsome also said it wasn't true.
"We just had our personnel meetings this week, and Ray hasn't told any off our defensive staff he was retiring," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "The last I heard from Ray he stood up at the end-of-the-year meeting and told his teammates that he had already begun to prepare for next season."
We can't say that Lewis leaving Baltimore would break our hearts that much. But I know that I'm in the minority when I say that I respect Lewis and think that if he were to leave the AFC North, the division would be lesser for it. Plus, the guy has been around since 1996. He needs to take his hits while the Bengals continue their winning ways against the Ravens. It's just common courtesy.