Originally written on Pro Football Zone  |  Last updated 10/21/14

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 16: Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens spits in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Lucas Oli Stadium on January 16, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Ravens 20-3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
According to SI.com, ESPN president John Skipper confirmed that former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been hired and that he’ll have a significant role beginning next season. The Ravens linebacker will have a significant role next fall as an NFL analyst on the network’s Monday Night Countdown program and will also appear on Sunday NFL Countdown and SportsCenter. The formal announcement is expected to come sometime in the next two weeks because the contract is still not officially signed, and neither ESPN nor Lewis is pressing for an announcement. Skipper addressed the concerns over Lewis’ past. “We had an opportunity last fall to get Ray and we debated internally some of the history,” Skipper told SI.com. “Obviously, we decided we were comfortable with it. We must have because we did it. I will tell you we did remind ourselves of some of the issues. We sort of decided that the NFL welcomed him back into the fold and the fans welcomed him back into the fold. I think we are fine with second chances and we think he will make great television. Ultimately, we were comfortable with it.” One of Lewis’ main requirements was flexibility in his schedule so he could attend the games of his son, Ray Lewis III, who will be a freshman running back/defensive back next season at his father’s alma mater, the University of Miami. Lewis will likely work a number of Sundays in Bristol, Conn., depending on his personal schedule. He is not expected to appear regularly on ESPN’s airwaves until the start of next season. When SI.com interviewed executives at CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and The NFL Network in December to find out who was on their watch lists among current NFL players, Lewis ranked very high. “Ray Lewis has an intensity about him and a way of communicating that is very infectious,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said at the time. “He is a bigger-than-life personality, very articulate and [has] an incredible passion for the game. If Ray Lewis decided to take that same passion and put it into a broadcasting career, I think he would be a terrific studio analyst or, I imagine, game analyst, too.” I love Lewis’ passion for the game of football, but I hope he leaves his preacher side off the television screen.   Need NFL Tickets? var _CI = _CI || {}; (function() { var script = document.createElement('script'); ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; _CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1; document.write(''); script.type = 'text/javascript'; var _CI = _CI || {}; (function() { var script = document.createElement('script'); ref = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; _CI.counter = (_CI.counter) ? _CI.counter + 1 : 1; document.write(''); script.type = 'text/javascript'; script.src = 'http://widget.crowdignite.com/widgets/27484?_ci_wid=_CI_widget_'+_CI.counter; script.async = true; ref.parentNode.insertBefore(script, ref); })();
PLAYERS: Ray Lewis
TEAMS: Baltimore Ravens
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