by Ross Snow
In wake of the increasingly excessive, round-the-clock coverage of Ray Lewis' retirement, career, and legacy, the Baltimore Ravens have decided to cut ties with the 17 year veteran as his presence has now been deemed a distraction to the team.
"It was a tough decision, but the right one," said coach John Harbaugh. "Don't get me wrong, we love the guy and wish him well in his future endeavors, but we've got a big game coming up and need our focus on San Fran."
Harbaugh went on to mention how Lewis was a great teammate and only ever did what was asked of him.
"Ray's a champ. I mean, what can I say about Ray that hasn't already been said hundreds of times these past few weeks? But that's exactly why we are where we are right now. We are a team, not just one player."
Lewis, the 13-time Pro Bowler and seven-time First-Team All-Pro middle linebacker, spent his entire 17-year career in Baltimore, spanning a team record 227 games, but has just one lone Super Bowl appearance to show for it.
"And that's why he should understand the importance of this situation more than anybody; he knows how hard it is to get to one of these things," continued Harbaugh. "You don't wanna mess it up."
Lewis, a devout Christian and father to six, has seemingly come to cope with the terms of his situation.
"I'll admit, I struggled with the news at first," said Lewis, putting his arms around his two youngest sons at a press conference, "but then I figured this must be God's plan. To save me the pain of having my career end in the arms of Joe Flacco."
Although initially saddened by the news, Lewis has already received job offers at ESPN and CBS, interest from "Dancing with the Stars," and Baltimore's head coaching position if Harbaugh's decision doesn't pan out.