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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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Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

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USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens rookies report to training camp

Football is back in session for the Ravens.

Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.

The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.

This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief. 

Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011. 

Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason. 

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

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Early 2018 NFL playoff odds have Ravens in similar situation

There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.

OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.

The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.

The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively. 

During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.

Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.

They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.

Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.

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