Ray Lewis says he will not retire

FOXBOROUGH, Mass - I'll have plenty of notes and reactions to the Ravens' stunning loss to the Patriots, but before I delve into the Billy Cundiff missed field goal and the Lee Evans touchdown catch that wasn't, I wanted to pass along some words from Ray Lewis.

There have been rumblings for weeks that Lewis, the Ravens' 36-year-old linebacker and emotional leader, would consider retiring regardless of how this season ended.

Immediately after the Ravens fell to New England today, Lewis addressed his future without even being asked whether he plans on returning for another season.

"Is this my last time as a Raven? Absolutely not," Lewis said. "Let me answer that question before somebody asks me. Absolutely not. It's just too much, man. Life offers too much. Every time you step on this field, it's a true blessing."

Lewis recorded 12 tackles today against the Patriots, tied for the most on the team.

The 16-year veteran battled through a turf toe injury the last half of the regular season, and missed four games because of the ailment.

Meanwhile, veteran center Matt Birk said that he hasn't thought about whether he'll return for another season and will take some time to ponder his future.

"I'm just going to let this one soak in, and when it's time to make a decision, I'll make a decision," Birk said.

Birk, a 14-year veteran will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

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