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Ray Lewis seals his legacy, will be enshrined in Pro Football Hall of Fame

Ray Lewis seals his legacy, will be enshrined in Pro Football Hall of Fame

Every tackle, forced fumble, sack and interception Ray Lewis made for the Baltimore Ravens over 17 seasons has paid off.

The former linebacker, and first-year ballot nominee, will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. 

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Lewis is just the second Raven in franchise history to be inducted. Jonathan Ogden, the first player drafted by the franchise in 1996, was enshrined back in 2013. 

Drafted by the Ravens at No. 26 in the 1996 draft, Lewis won two Super Bowls, named Super Bowl XXXV MVP, named to 13 Pro Bowls, a seven-time First-Team All-Pro, two-time Defensive Player of the year winner, won eight Defensive Player of the Week awards, played in 228 career games, had 1,558 total tackles, 492 assist, 41.5 sacks, 19 forced fumbles and 31 interceptions. He was also the heart and soul of the Ravens defense, who reigned supreme for the majority of his tenure.

The Ravens made his legacy official by erecting a statue of Lewis outside of M&T Bank Stadium in 2014, right next to Baltimore Colts' legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas.

The news of his induction into the 2018 class could not have come at a more appropriate time. No. 52 learned the news less than 24 hours before Super Bowl 52. Today is also the five-year anniversary of Super Bowl XLVII, his final game.

"You cannot draw this stuff up," Lewis told the B-More Opinionated podcast. "My entire career I wore No. 52. I'm walking into Super Bowl 52. It's like this surreal moment."

Lewis's impact on the city of Baltimore and the Ravens organization can't be measured. General Manager Ozzie Newsome had this to say when Lewis announced his retirement in 2012.

Ray Lewis will not only be remembered as one of the greatest to play his position, he will also be thought of as one of the greatest players in NFL history.

When asked at his annual "State of the Ravens" press conference Friday how he felt about Lewis making the Hall of Fame, owner Steve Bisciotti spoke about the impact Lewis had on his fellow teammates.

It is awesome. Obviously, there is nobody more deserving. He made people around him better, which is the greatest compliment that you can give anybody in football, and he clearly was that guy.

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Lewis was selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 48-person Selection Committee, which consists of one media representative from each pro football city, two from New York. To round out the 48 person committee, there are 16-at-large selectors who are active members of the media including one representative of the Pro Football Writers of America and two Hall of Fame members. 

"Selection Saturday" takes place the day before the Super Bowl, where the remaining 15 finalist must receive 80 percent of the vote by committee members to be selected. There is no set number of potential enshrinees, but the current committee tries to keep the class between four and eight new members.

He is considered to be one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the NFL.

The official induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio will take place on August 4th.

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As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

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USA TODAY Sports

As 2018 NFL Draft approaches, Ravens to host QB Lamar Jackson per report

With 10 days until the 2018 NFL Draft, quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to visit the Ravens this week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner is a projected first-round pick as he has proven to have success in the air and on the ground. 

While at Louisville, Jackson had 9,043 passing yards and 69 touchdowns. He also rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns. His NFL draft profile compares him to Michael Vick. 

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The Ravens are in search of Joe Flacco's successor, but spending a first-round pick on a quarterback when there are other glaring needs is up in the air. However, assistant general manager Eric DeCosta isn't ruling out the possibility

"I feel like if there is a guy there that we think is really too good to pass up, we're going to take him," DeCosta told the team's website on the chance of drafting a quarterback in the first-round.

At their pre-draft press conference, GM Ozzie Newsome and DeCosta kept reiterating we could be surprised by who they pick at No. 16, if they do at all. 

While Jackson's numbers are impressive, he continues to be considered a late first-round pick as his build isn't up to typical NFL QB standards and scouts are concerned with his accuracy. What he does have in his favor is speed.

While fans are hoping for an offensive weapon, having Jackson learn under Flacco for a year (and maybe RGIII?) could rev up some excitement. 

RELATED: RGIII READY TO MOVE FORWARD AS NEW, GROWN PLAYER

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Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Heisman Trophy winner turned backup, Robert Griffin III fully embracing new role with Ravens

Robert Griffin III went from Heisman Trophy winner, to second-overall pick, to Offensive Rookie of the Year, to unemployed, to backup quarterback all in the matter of six years.

That's a rollercoaster of a career for a 28-year old, but RGIII is fully embracing the opportunity the Ravens have presented him with.

“I feel like I knew coming into this situation that this is Joe’s [Flacco] team," Griffin said at a press conference Wednesday.

"I understood that when I came in to work out; I understood that when I signed. I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from him. Whatever capacity the coaches ask me to help, that’s what I’m here to do. I’m here to compete, and I’m here to get better every single day – work hard. I think they saw that from me in the workout and in our general conversations together. I think they realize I’m ready for the opportunity and I’m ready for this role – whatever that role may be.”

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Finding a backup quarterback that you can put some faith in during a time of desperation in today's league is a hard find, with the exception of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. 

While Griffin hasn't played since January of 2017, he offers legitimate experience that isn't being offered by typical backups. 

 "I feel like I’ve been able to get a better grasp of how to play the game in the NFL, what coaches are looking for. I think that’s a benefit, whereas in 2012 when I came in, it was more so learning everything on the fly and just going out and playing. Now I feel like I have to ability to go out and play and also know what I’m doing, be able to protect myself better, get the ball to the guys that need to get the ball and help a team win – in whatever way that is.”

The Ravens signed RGIII on a one-year contract worth $1 million - we're assuming- with hopes he'll never see the field during the regular season. Griffin made it clear he understands that role, but is looking forward to learning how to lead a team under a ten-year veteran. 

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“Most of my interactions with Joe have been at midfield. I really do look forward to getting in the quarterback room with him. It’s a great opportunity for me. I still feel like I’m a young player. I’m 28, but I feel like I’m 25. He’s been through a lot of things in his career, been to the pinnacle and won a Super Bowl – Super Bowl MVP. I think that’s a great opportunity for me to learn and learn from him, and to just see the way that he attacks the game of football, the way he attacks the meeting room, practice, interacting with teammates – all those types of things – the way he leads." 

The RGIII saga in Baltimore is an open book right now, one that could come with an interesting ending.