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Jamal Lewis

Jamal Lewis
Lewis with the Ravens in 2006
No. 31
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-08-26) August 26, 1979
Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school: Atlanta (GA) Douglass
College: Tennessee
NFL draft: 2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 10,607
Average: 4.2
Rushing TDs: 58
Stats at

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

Lewis is best known for his career as a Raven, where he helped the team win Super Bowl XXXV as a rookie. Lewis is also known for his outstanding 2003 season, where he rushed for 2,066 yards, which is third-most of all-time, behind Eric Dickerson and Adrian Peterson.[1] 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. Lewis was inducted into the Ravens' Ring of Honor on September 27, 2012.


  • Early years 1
  • College career 2
  • Professional career 3
    • Baltimore Ravens 3.1
    • Cleveland Browns 3.2
  • Career statistics 4
  • Personal life 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early years

Lewis attended fullback to the starting running back.

In track & field, Lewis was an 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 4x100m (42.14s) relay squad.[3]

College career

In his three year career at the University of Tennessee, Lewis rushed for 2,677 yards and accounted for 3,161 all-purpose. Lewis stands third on the university's list of all-time rushers and fourth in all-purpose yards. As a freshman 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 1998, Jamal suffered a torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee and missed the rest of the season. He was an arts and science major. He played with former Indianapolis Colts (and now Denver Broncos) quarterback Peyton Manning.

Professional career

Baltimore Ravens

Regarded as the best available tailback alongside Thomas Jones, Lewis was the fifth pick overall in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.[4] 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). 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).

He missed his sophomore year due to a knee injury he sustained in training camp. This 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 39 yards short of the all time single season rushing record, which remains Eric Dickerson's 2,105 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.

On September 14, 2003, Lewis also broke Corey Dillon's single-game rushing record of 278 yards by running for 295 yards against the Cleveland Browns.[5] 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 Baltimore 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 Monday, March 13, 2006 with a three-year deal,[6] 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 9 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[7] 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.

Cleveland Browns

After joining the Browns, Lewis became the team's starting running back. Lewis had his first 1,300+ yard season since 2003 in his first season with the Browns, rushing for 1,304 yards and 9 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.[8] Late in the 2009 season, Lewis was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. On February 17, 2010, the Browns released Lewis.

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

Career statistics

Year Team Games Attempts Yards YPA TDs
2000 BAL 16 309 1,364 4.4 6
2002 BAL 16 308 1,327 4.3 6
2003 BAL 16 387 2,066 5.3 14
2004 BAL 12 235 1,006 4.3 7
2005 BAL 15 269 906 3.4 3
2006 BAL 16 314 1,132 3.6 9
2007 CLE 15 298 1,304 4.4 9
2008 CLE 16 279 1,002 3.6 4
2009 CLE 9 143 500 3.5 0
Career 131 2,542 10,607 4.2 58

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.[9] Lewis reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in October 2004 and ultimately, Lewis was sentenced in January 2005 to four months in federal prison.[10] He was released on August 2, 2005.[11]

On October 31, 2011, Regions Bank filed suit against Lewis over an unpaid $660,000 loan.[12]

On February 8, 2015, a

Preceded by
Corey Dillon
278 yards
NFL single-game rushing record
September 14, 2003 – November 4, 2007
295 yards
Succeeded by
Adrian Peterson
296 yards
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Errict Rhett
Baltimore Ravens Starting Running Back
Succeeded by
Willis McGahee
Preceded by
Reuben Droughns
Cleveland Browns Starting Running Back
Succeeded by
Peyton Hillis
  • Career statistics and player information from • ESPN • CBS Sports • Yahoo! Sports • • Pro-Football-Reference • Rotoworld
  • The Official Website of Jamal Lewis

External links

  1. ^ [2]
  2. ^ Zisner, Lynn. "PRO FOOTBALL; Jamal Lewis Charged in Drug Case", The New York Times, February 26, 2004. "At the time of the alleged crime, Lewis, who had graduated from Douglass High School in Atlanta, was waiting to attend his first N.F.L. training camp."
  3. ^
  4. ^ "2000 NFL Draft - Breakdown by Position - HB", Sports Illustrated 
  5. ^ "Jamal Lewis breaks single-game rushing record",  
  6. ^ Baltimore Ravens
  7. ^ "Ravens' Pro Bowl runner Jamal Lewis released". 2007-02-28. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Lewis expected to turn himself in Thursday". 2004-02-26. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Federal Bureau of Prisons-Inmate Locater-Jamal Lewis
  12. ^ "Regions Bank suing former NFL player over unpaid loan". 2011-11-01. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  13. ^ Rovell, Darren (2015-02-09). "Jamal Lewis' ring sold in auction". Retrieved 2015-02-09. 
  14. ^ Smith, Michael David (2015-02-09). "Jamal Lewis sells a Super Bowl ring for $50,820". Retrieved 2015-02-09. 


See also


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