August 01, 2002

Monster deal for Ray Lewis.: $50 million plus a $19 million signing bonus for a linebacker. Is this the kind of money LT would be getting if he played nowadays or is this another miscalulation by Billick (Tony Banks, Elvis Grbac)?

posted by owillis to football at 01:09 PM - 9 comments

Only the Ravens would pay a murderer this much money.

posted by elsoltano at 09:25 PM on August 01, 2002

I'd like to think that (I loathe Lewis, Billick, and the Ravens), but I bet most of the teams in the league would sign Lewis even if he asked to baby-sit the owner's grandchildren as part of the deal.

posted by rcade at 11:05 PM on August 01, 2002

I can just imagine Billick at his bedside every night, praying for the elimination of the forward pass. You can't win every game 7-0, you know.

posted by ttrendel at 11:42 PM on August 01, 2002

Jesus, Ray Lewis didn't kill anyone.  This isn't an O.J.-style case-- there was basically no evidence against him. And a $19 million signing bonus is pretty unfathomable to me, but there's no doubt he's the best player at his position, bar none.  (Although come back in two years and we'll see how Brian Urlacher is doing.)

posted by nath at 01:48 AM on August 02, 2002

He's the best linebacker in the league, but that still doesn't justify $19 million (the signing bonus is the only number that matters in the NFL). Let's face it, he's great, but there are other linebackers out there who do the job. And didn't Sharper get traded or lost to free agency? Lewis' job will be that much harder this year without him.

posted by shackbar at 02:40 AM on August 02, 2002

Lewis (and the Ravens D as a whole) will have a very difficult time in getting close to how they've played the last couple seasons. Too much roster turnover will decimate, at least for the short term, any team. Their cap is also screwing them royally, and this deal will not help solve that for the next few seasons.

posted by bcb2k2 at 08:35 AM on August 02, 2002

this certainly doesn't help the Bengals sign their 2 LBs (spikes and simmons) both of who I think are far underrated in the league.

posted by mick at 08:55 AM on August 02, 2002

Ray Lewis didn't kill anyone. This isn't an O.J.-style case-- there was basically no evidence against him. Ray Lewis pled guilty to obstructing justice and was sentenced to probation, admitting that he told people in his entourage to lie after they were involved in the stabbing deaths of two men outside an Atlanta nightclub at 4 a.m. after the 2000 Super Bowl. He also admitted giving a false statement to police after the murders. Two things make it hard to believe he didn't do anything: His claim not to have seen who stabbed the men, and the fact that the white suit he wore that evening has never been found. The guy may be the greatest defensive player in the league, but he brings shame to the NFL and the Ravens every time he suits up. Even under the most generous interpretation of the facts, Lewis is a person who tried to cover up a double homicide.

posted by rcade at 09:30 AM on August 02, 2002

Hmm. I'm going to have to take another look at this.  It sounds fishy, but from my understanding the prosecution knew as well that they really didn't have any evidence for a conviction.  The impression I got, the first time around, is that witnesses fingered Lewis because he was basically the only one recognized, due to his fame.  But admittedly it's been a while since I took a look at the facts, so my memory is hazy. Something was up, for sure.  I just don't know to what degree he played a part.

posted by nath at 01:38 PM on August 02, 2002

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