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Ray Lewis is playing on the final year of his deal

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Adam Schefter wrote three consecutive blog entries regarding the future of Ray Lewis, who is playing on the final year of his deal. Schefter writes that the two sides "haven’t come close (to a deal), leading to the possibility that Baltimore might be forced to slap the franchise tag on Lewis, something that would not sit well with him." If the two sides fail to come to an agreement, and the Ravens elect not to franchise him (so not likely), Schefter plays with the idea of Lewis joining the Cowboys. Lewis is one of three linebackers available for free agency after this season -- Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs are the others. Still, the Ravens are $27 million under the cap, writes Schefter, but only 38 players under contract -- 15 players short of the 53-man roster, and 42 players short of the 80-man limit during training camp.

First of all, we don't envision the Ravens coming close to letting Lewis go. Not only is he the face and leader of Baltimore, but we've yet to conclude that Lewis is slowing down at all.

Still, as Bengals fans, many of us have entertained an intra-divsion switch to Cincinnati; primarily (and really only) because of Marvin Lewis. However, from Cincinnati's perspective, the Bengals need that defensive spiritual leader, and we're very short at middle linebacker. It might not be a good fit for Lewis, we have no reservations about that. But for the Bengals, it could be the master key that turns the Bengals defense from stable, to... what's that word... good.