Ray Lewis close to joining ESPN

There were some who didn't believe Ray Lewis when he announced Wednesday he would retire at the end of the season. Based on the fact he has set his sights on a new career, it looks like he isn't going to change his decision to call it quits.

Lewis is nearing a multi-year contract with ESPN, according to a SI.com report. He is expected to have a significant role on "Monday Night Countdown," the web site reported. An ESPN spokesperson declined comment when contacted Thursday morning.

No one should be shocked by Lewis going into television. Everyone would be surprised if Lewis didn't go into television. He's been preparing for life after football for years with his numerous commercials and has had stints as a television analyst in the offseason.

Being a great player doesn't necessarily mean being a great television personality. Emmitt Smith is the NFL's all-time leading rusher but he couldn't successfully make the transition from the field to the studio.

Lewis, though, loves the spotlight and is used to holding the attention of audiences. He spent last offseason giving motivational speeches to college teams. Lewis also will bring insight. With his extensive film work, he has become the quarterback of the defense.

The only question I have is: Will Lewis still do his famous pre-game dance before going on-air?