TV networks interested in Ravens' Ray Lewis
Oct/17/12 08:12 AM Filed in: Ray Lewis
Would the networks covet the injured Baltimore Ravens star linebacker, now out for the season with a triceps injury?
"There's always interest in a player of this caliber, no doubt," says Eric Weinberger, executive producer at the NFL Network, which recently showed a documentary on Lewis and used him as a guest analyst on a 2005 Super Bowl pregame show. "With his Hall of Fame credentials, he'd fit in right away. He embodies what we're looking for here. ... We'll start quietly gauging his interest."
ESPN, which used Lewis for a week in 2008 and again in 2010, is game. "Yes, we have an interest," says ESPN's Mike Soltys.
Not every network carrying NFL games openly covets Lewis. CBS' Jen Sabatelle says, "We're always looking to add high-quality analysts, but right now our roster is pretty full." NBC's Adam Freifeld says, "We're happy with our on-air roster."
Fox will announce Wednesday that Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, a top TV prospect himself, will take advantage of a bye week to be in Fox's NFL studio show Sunday -- and possibly in the college studio Saturday. Says Fox's Dan Bell: "We would consider having (Lewis) on the studio show, like we're doing with Tony Gonzalez."
Normally, NFL veteran stars snap at such cameos to get what amounts to auditions. But Lewis, who already has had cameos, won't need to show what he can do in exhibitions to eventually get into a TV lineup.
But does he want that? "I don't know if Ray would want to do that," Ravens fullback Vonta Leach says. "But I think if he wants to, Ray's the kind of guy that whatever he wants to do in the next chapter of his life, he's going to be successful."