Ray Lewis headlines star-studded Pro Football Hall of Fame category of 2018

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MINNEAPOLIS – Five years to a day of his final diversion – a delight in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans – Ray Lewis is Squirrel Dancing his approach into a Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The former Baltimore Ravens linebacker was inaugurated to a 2018 category Saturday in his initial year of eligibility, headlining a star-studded category that also includes wide receivers Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, linebacker Brian Urlacher and reserve Brian Dawkins.

The dual comparison cabinet nominees, Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile, and writer Bobby Beathard, a longtime ubiquitous manager, finish a eight-man class.

The contention about Lewis’ candidacy lasted usually 5 minutes, unsurprising given his argent on-field  credentials.

Lewis, one of a NFL’s many intimidating center linebackers, was a sole slam-dunk claimant for 2018 following a 17-year career, spent wholly with a Ravens, in that he won dual Super Bowl rings, done 7 first-team all-pro teams, was comparison to 13 Pro Bowls and was a two-time NFL defensive actor of a year in 2000 and 2003. He was a MVP of Super Bowl XXXV for his purpose in a Ravens’ 34-7 win over a New York Giants, as he anchored what is arguably one of a biggest defenses in NFL history.

Lewis announced after a 2012 unchanging season, of that he played only 6 games given of a ripped triceps, that he would retire following a playoffs. That postseason served as a wise farewell debate that finished in a Super Bowl.

But Lewis’ career was not but controversy.

Lewis was indicted on murder charges in 2000, stemming from an rumpus in Atlanta following a Super Bowl celebration in that dual group were killed. Lewis was authorised to beg guilty to deterrent of justice, a misdemeanor, in sell for his testimony against two friends, who were after acquitted.

During his final season, Lewis had to answer questions about a report he sought out a deer-antler velvet extract, that contains a piece criminialized by a NFL, in his liberation from a ripped triceps. Lewis denied ever regulating a spray.

Lewis, Moss and Urlacher were all comparison in their initial year of eligibility. Dawkins was picked in his second go-around as finalist, while Owens done a final cut in his third turn.

It’s wise that Urlacher joins Lewis in a 2018 class, as they spent some-more than a decade as a best center linebackers of their generation. Urlacher, a No. 9 altogether collect in a 2000 draft, played his whole career with a Chicago Bears before timid after a 2012 season. He was a four-time first-team all-pro and eight-time Pro Bowl selection, as good as the NFL’s defensive actor of a year in 2005. He was a personality of a Bears invulnerability that consistently ranked among a league’s best in a mid-2000s and won an NFC championship in 2006.

Discussion on Owens’ certification lasted some-more than 45 mins Saturday, a longest of any of a 15 finalists. But eventually his career numbers landed a desired mark in Canton. He held 1,078 passes for 15,934 yards (second in NFL history) and 156 touchdowns (third all-time) in his career, many of that was spent with a San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

Unlike Owens, Moss did not have to wait to join a Hall of Fame, apropos a initial far-reaching receiver to get in on a initial list given Jerry Rice. His choosing comes in Minneapolis, where he was a first-round collect by a Minnesota Vikings in 1998. He also played for a Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots and, briefly, for a Tennessee Titans before ending his career with a San Francisco 49ers, where he played in Super Bowl XLVII opposite Lewis’ Ravens. He was a four-time first-team all-pro and still binds a NFL’s single-season record for receiving touchdowns (23).

What a weekend this could be for Dawkins, a longtime Eagles safety who now works in a a team’s crew department. Dawkins was a five-time first-team all-pro (four times with Philadelphia and once with a Denver Broncos), and he finished his 16-year career with 37 interceptions and 36 forced fumbles.

Among a important finalists who were not comparison were safety John Lynch, descent tackles Tony Boselli and Joe Jacoby and descent guards Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson.

Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.

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