In a move that shocked no one, former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was named a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist. Lewis is widely considered the best football player to ever put on a purple and black uniform. He spent 17 seasons in Baltimore and was selected to 13 Pro Bowls. Lewis was also named an All-Pro 10 times and was crowned NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice. Lewis was instrumental in the Ravens’ success throughout the years. In the 2000-2001 season, Lewis won his first Super Bowl, with a victory over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, and was named the MVP of the game. Lewis would go on to win his second Super Bowl in the 2012-2013 season after he announced that the 2012 playoffs would be his last ride.
After he retired, Lewis was quickly named to the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor. Since his retirement, it has been speculated that Lewis would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Players must wait five years after retiring from pro football to be considered for induction into the Hall of Fame. Lewis retired in 2013 and therefore is just now eligible to be inducted into the class of 2018. If inducted, Ray Lewis would join offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens players to be enshrined in Canton.
The road to enshrinement is a long one for Lewis, as this year’s class is filled to the brim with other worthy candidates. This year’s group of semifinalists includes Steve Atwater, Ronde Barber, Tony Boselli, Isaac Bruce, Leroy Butler, Don Coryell, Roger Craig, Brian Dawkins, Alan Faneca, Torry Holt, Steve Hutchinson, Joe Jacoby, Edgerrin James, Jimmy Johnson, Ty Law, John Lynch, Kevin Mawae, Karl Mecklenburg, Randy Moss, Leslie O’Neal, Terrell Owens, Simeon Rice, Richard Seymour, Brian Urlacher, Everson Walls, and Hines Ward. Ray Lewis has a decent chance of receiving a gold jacket come his August, but there is no way to know if he will get it until the final vote is tallied. Either way, Lewis will one day be in the Hall of Fame, it is only a matter of time.