Lewis told reporters after the Browns' 30-6 loss Sunday at Chicago that his 10th season will be his final one, adding, "When I talk, I mean what I say and I think you all know that."
Lewis, who missed two games in late September and early October with a hamstring injury, ran for 69 yards on 16 carries against the Bears. That gave him 349 this year and 10,456 in his career, helping Baltimore win the Super Bowl as a rookie during his seven seasons with the Ravens.
He served prison time while with them in 2005 for using a cell phone to set up a drug buy five years earlier, and besides the off-the-field issues, there were questions about his durability and speed when he signed with Cleveland before the 2007 season.
Lewis answered those by running for 1,304 yards that year, his best since leading the NFL with 2,066 in '03. He followed that by going for 1,002 last season, the seventh time he reached the 1,000-yard mark, and with the lowly Browns at 1-7, his career appears to be coming to an end.
"It is very hard," he said. "Very. I think this is my last year. I think this is it. Honestly, the way it looks, you know, I had a good run."
Lewis acknowledged that finishing with the Browns stuck in a miserable season is not the easiest way to go out.
"But at the same time, I stuck my neck out and wanted to come in and help and do what I could do, even though I knew the consequences," he said. "I knew what we had and what was going to go with it, being that you do have new people coming in, new coaches, new staff, and all that -- there's a lot that comes with that."