Ray Lewis to retire at end of 2012 NFL playoffs

Ray Lewis says he's retiring at the end of the 2012 season. Photo: Associated Press

Ray Lewis, one of the most dominant linebackers in this era of the National Football League and a mainstay of the Baltimore Ravens defense, will retire at the end of the 2012 playoffs, he announced Wednesday.

The star linebacker told the team "This will be my last ride." He has been out since Oct. 14 with a triceps injury, but expects to play Sunday in the wild-card round against Indianapolis.

The 37-year-old Lewis says "It is time for me to create a new legacy" after 17 NFL seasons.

Lewis was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2000, when Baltimore won the Super Bowl title, and in 2003.

Lewis, who debuted in the NFL in 1996, has spent his entire career with the Ravens.

He helped lead the Ravens to the franchise's only Super Bowl title after the 2000 season, defeating the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Lewis was honored as the game's most valuable player.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.