Jamal Lewis
refer to caption
Lewis with the Baltimore Ravens in 2006
No. 31
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1979-08-26) August 26, 1979 (age 43)
Atlanta, Georgia
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Douglass (Atlanta)
College:Tennessee
NFL Draft:2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts:2,542
Rushing yards:10,607
Rushing touchdowns:58
Receptions:221
Receiving yards:1,879
Receiving touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Jamal Lewis (born August 26, 1979) is an American former professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. He played college football at Tennessee and was selected fifth overall by the Ravens in the 2000 NFL Draft. After spending his first seven seasons with the Ravens, Lewis signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns in 2007 season and retired after the 2009 season.

Lewis is best known for his career as a Raven, where he contributed to the team winning Super Bowl XXXV as a rookie. Lewis is also known for his outstanding 2003 season, where he rushed for 2,066 yards (third-most all-time, behind Eric Dickerson and Adrian Peterson) and was named AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year. That same year, Lewis also rushed for 295 yards in one game, which was the single-game record until Adrian Peterson rushed for 296 yards in 2007 against the San Diego Chargers. Lewis was inducted into the Ravens' Ring of Honor in 2012.

Early years

Lewis attended Douglass High School in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was a letterman in football and track.[1] Lewis was rated as the top running back prospect in the nation by Super Prep. Prep Star rated him as the No. 2 southern RB. Lewis rushed for 25 touchdowns as a senior and earned AAAA All-State and All-City honors. He was named MVP of the Georgia-Florida All-Star Game, with 137 yards on 11 carries, for a 12.4 average, and two touchdowns. Lewis gained 1,923 yards and scored 28 touchdowns as a junior and 1,240 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore. In his three years as a starter, he rushed for a school-record 4,879 yards and 68 touchdowns, plus had a 9.7-yard average per carry.[citation needed] While at Douglass, Lewis converted from a fullback to the starting running back.

In track & field, Lewis was a standout sprinter. He got personal-best times of 10.84 seconds in the 100 meters and 22.04 seconds in the 200 meters. He was also a member of the 4 × 100 m (42.14s) relay squad.[2]

College career

As a freshman at Tennessee in 1997, Lewis rushed for 1,364 yards and seven touchdowns. For his efforts, he was named first team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News and second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press. In the 1997 season, quarterback Peyton Manning caught a 10-yard pass from Lewis against Arkansas.[3] In 1998, Lewis suffered a torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee and missed the rest of the season. In his three-year career at the University of Tennessee, Lewis rushed for 2,677 yards and accounted for 3,161 all-purpose. Lewis ranks fifth on the university's list of all-time rushers and fourth in all-purpose yards. He was an arts and science major while at the University of Tennessee.

College statistics

Season Team GP Rushing Receiving
Att Yards Avg TD Rec Yds TD
1997 Tennessee 12 232 1,364 5.9 7 23 266 2
1998 Tennessee 5 73 497 6.8 3 1 16 1
1999 Tennessee 10 182 816 4.5 7 15 193 1
College Totals[4] 27 487 2,677 5.5 17 39 475 4

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
5 ft 11+34 in
(1.82 m)
240 lb
(109 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
10+14 in
(0.26 m)
All values from NFL Combine[5][6]

Baltimore Ravens

Regarded as the best available tailback alongside Thomas Jones, Lewis was drafted in the first round with the fifth overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.[7] In his rookie season, he rushed for over 1,300 yards, supplanting Priest Holmes as the team's starting running back. On November 19, Lewis became the youngest player since 1960 to record 200 yards from scrimmage (21 years, 82 days).[citation needed] The Ravens' running game and punishing defense earned them their first World Championship when they defeated the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Lewis rushed for 103 yards and scored a touchdown in the game, becoming only the second rookie ever to rush for over 100 yards in a Super Bowl and the youngest player to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl (21).

Lewis missed his sophomore year due to a knee injury he sustained in training camp. Lewis's injury weakened the Ravens running game for much of the season.

In the 2003 season, Lewis led the NFL in rushing with 2,066 yards, falling just 40 yards short of officially breaking the all-time single-season rushing record, which remains Eric Dickerson's 2,105 record-breaking yards in 1984. Lewis joined Dickerson, Terrell Davis, Barry Sanders, and O. J. Simpson as the only backs in the 2,000 rushing yards club. In 2009, Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans would also surpass the 2,000-yard mark by rushing for 2,006 yards. In 2012, Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings finished with 2,097 rushing yards, the second-most ever for a running back in a single season. In 2020, Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans surpassed the 2,000-yard mark as well by rushing for 2,027 yards.

On September 14, 2003, Lewis broke Corey Dillon's single-game rushing record of 278 yards by running for 295 yards against the Cleveland Browns.[8] Lewis was rewarded by being named NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Lewis's single-game rushing record was later broken by Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings on November 4, 2007, when he ran for 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers.

After the 2005 season, the Ravens declined to place the franchise tag on Lewis, making him an unrestricted free agent after the end of the season. This move was seen by many as a formality in letting Lewis move to another team. Popular speculation blamed Lewis' steadily declining performance since the 2003 season. Lewis had also voiced displeasure during the 2005 season over the team's failure to sign him to a long term deal. Despite these events, the Ravens re-signed Lewis on March 13, 2006 with a three-year deal,[9] despite having signed former Denver Broncos running back Mike Anderson, who was widely thought to be Lewis' replacement. On November 19, 2006, Lewis rushed for a season-high three touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons. He ended the season rushing for 1,132 yards and nine touchdowns. On February 28, 2007, the Ravens announced that they released Lewis. However, general manager Ozzie Newsome pointed out that they hoped to re-sign him,[10] but that changed on March 7, 2007, when Lewis signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns.

Lewis (#31) lines up to play the San Francisco 49ers in December 2007.
Lewis (#31) lines up to play the San Francisco 49ers in December 2007.

Cleveland Browns

After joining the Browns, Lewis became the team's starting running back. Lewis had his first career 1,300+ yard season since 2003 in his first season with the Browns, rushing for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns.

On November 8, 2008, The Plain Dealer reported that Lewis was dissatisfied with the performance of his teammates in the Browns' recent loss to the Denver Broncos. Lewis stated, "This is the NFL, you can't call it quits until the game is over." Lewis went on to say "it looks to me like some people called it quits before that. Denver was down, but they didn't call it quits. They kept their heads up and they finished. We didn't do that two weeks in a row - at home." Without naming names, Lewis said: "Some people need to check their egos at the door and find some heart to come out here and play hard. This is a man's game. The way we went out there and played two weeks in a row, finishing the same kind of way, it's not there. I think there are some men around here that need to check theirselves, straight up. That's it." On November 2, 2009, Lewis announced he would retire after the 2009 season.[11] Late in the 2009 season, Lewis was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. On February 17, 2010, the Browns released Lewis. Lewis did not sign with another NFL team after his release from the Browns.

Lewis during the Cleveland Browns 33-30 OT win over the Baltimore Ravens on November 18, 2007
Lewis during the Cleveland Browns 33-30 OT win over the Baltimore Ravens on November 18, 2007

NFL career statistics

Legend
AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Won the Super Bowl
Led the league
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2000 BAL 16 13 309 1,364 4.4 45 6 27 296 11.0 45 0
2001 BAL 0 0 Did not play due to injury
2002 BAL 16 15 308 1,327 4.3 75 6 47 442 9.4 77 1
2003 BAL 16 16 387 2,066 5.3 82 14 26 205 7.9 26 0
2004 BAL 12 12 235 1,006 4.3 75 7 10 116 11.6 46 0
2005 BAL 15 15 269 906 3.4 25 3 32 191 6.0 15 1
2006 BAL 16 16 314 1,132 3.6 52 9 18 115 6.4 15 0
2007 CLE 15 15 298 1,304 4.4 66 9 30 248 8.3 34 2
2008 CLE 16 16 279 1,002 3.6 29 4 23 178 7.7 18 0
2009 CLE 9 8 143 500 3.5 18 0 8 88 11.0 19 0
Career 131 126 2,542 10,607 4.2 82 58 221 1,879 8.5 77 4

Postseason

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2000 BAL 4 3 103 338 3.3 27 4 5 40 8.0 15 0
2003 BAL 1 1 14 35 2.5 8 0 2 4 2.0 6 0
2006 BAL 1 1 13 53 4.1 18 0 3 24 8.0 13 0
Career 6 5 130 426 3.3 27 4 10 68 6.8 15 0

Personal life

In February 2004, it surfaced that Lewis had been involved in talks about a drug deal. Lewis was charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms of cocaine and using a cell phone in the commission of the first count.[12] Lewis reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in October 2004 and ultimately, Lewis was sentenced in January 2005 to four months in federal prison.[13] He was released on August 2, 2005.[14]


In January 2015, Lewis began working as the Vice President of Business and Development for Metro Exhibits, a trade show exhibits company.[15]


A 2018 Bleacher Report profile detailed Lewis' post-NFL life, noting that he suffers from the post-traumatic effects of concussions. He is currently the President of Southeast Exhibits and Metro Retail Solutions for Metro Exhibits.[16]

Financial Problems

In April of 2010, Lewis filed for bankruptcy in Georgia listing $14.5 million in assets and $10.6 million in debts including a judgement of more than $350,000 on a loan defaulted from the bank whose name hangs over the Ravens' stadium.

On October 31, 2011, Regions Bank filed suit against Lewis over an unpaid $660,000 loan.[17]

On February 8, 2015, a championship ring from Super Bowl XLVII that Lewis had owned was sold at auction for more than $50,000. Lewis had received the ring from Baltimore Ravens owner Stephen Bisciotti in honor of his status as one of the all-time great Ravens players. According to the Ravens organization, Lewis sold the ring due to financial difficulties.[18][19]

References

  1. ^ Zisner, Lynn. "PRO FOOTBALL; Jamal Lewis Charged in Drug Case" Archived November 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, February 26, 2004. "At the time of the alleged crime, Lewis, who had graduated from Douglass High School in Hawaii, was waiting to attend his first N.F.L. training camp."
  2. ^ "Jamal Lewis | Tennessee | Ravens RB". Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  3. ^ Rice, Brian. "Tennessee's loss at Florida inside the numbers". Sports Radio WNML. Archived from the original on August 17, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Jamal Lewis College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  5. ^ "Jamal Lewis, Tennessee, RB, 2000 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "Jamal Lewis, Combine Results, RB - Tennessee". nflcombineresults.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  7. ^ "2000 NFL Draft - Breakdown by Position - HB", Sports Illustrated, archived from the original on April 26, 2009, retrieved May 8, 2010
  8. ^ "Jamal Lewis breaks single-game rushing record", USA Today, September 14, 2003, archived from the original on February 23, 2007, retrieved September 1, 2017
  9. ^ "Baltimore Ravens". Archived from the original on March 16, 2006.
  10. ^ "Ravens' Pro Bowl runner Jamal Lewis released". espn.com. February 28, 2007. Archived from the original on March 10, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  11. ^ "CLEVELAND BROWNS". June 7, 2011. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011.
  12. ^ "Lewis expected to turn himself in Thursday". espn.com. February 26, 2004. Archived from the original on June 26, 2006. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  13. ^ http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/8135568[dead link]
  14. ^ "Inmate Locator". www.bop.gov. Archived from the original on April 3, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  15. ^ Zamloot, Phil. "Jamal's Employer, Metro Exhibits- Trade show exhibits company". Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  16. ^ Dunne, Tyler (May 29, 2018). "Jamal Lewis Making Most of Post-NFL Life—but Preparing for Darker Days to Come". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on November 1, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  17. ^ "Regions Bank suing former NFL player over unpaid loan". al.com. November 1, 2011. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  18. ^ Rovell, Darren (February 9, 2015). "Jamal Lewis' ring sold in auction". espn.go.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  19. ^ Smith, Michael David (February 9, 2015). "Jamal Lewis sells a Super Bowl ring for $50,820". nbcsports.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
Records Preceded byCorey Dillon278 yards NFL single-game rushing record September 14, 2003 – November 4, 2007295 yards Succeeded byAdrian Peterson296 yards