Jamal Lewis
Lewis while playing for the Baltimore Ravens in 2006.
No. 31     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-08-26) August 26, 1979 (age 40)
Place of birth: Atlanta, Georgia
High School: Atlanta (GA) Douglass
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
College: Tennessee
NFL Draft: 2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Debuted in 2000 for the Baltimore Ravens
Last played in 2009 for the Cleveland Browns
Career history
* Baltimore Ravens ( 2000 2006)
Career highlights and awards
* BCS National Championship (1998)
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
Rushing yards     10,607
Rushing 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 most famous for his career as a Raven, where he helped the team win Super Bowl XXXV as a rookie. Jamal is also well-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 a record at the time until Adrian Peterson rushed for 296 yards in 2007. Lewis was inducted into the Ravens' Ring of Honor on September 27, 2012.

Early yearsEdit

Lewis attended Douglass High School in Atlanta, Georgia.[2] Lewis was rated the top RB prospect in the nation by Super Prep. Prep Star rated him as the No. 2 southern RB. Lewis rushed for 1,716 yards and 25 TD 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 (12.4 avg.) and 2 TDs. Jamal gained 1,923 yards and scored 28 TDs as a junior and 1,240 yards and 15 TDs as a sophomore. In his 3 years as a starter, he rushed for a school-record 4,879 yards and 68 TDs, plus had a 9.7-yard average per carry.[citation needed] While at Douglass, Lewis went from a fullback to starting at running back, and also participated in track and field.

College careerEdit

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 careerEdit

Baltimore RavensEdit

Regarded as the best available tailback alongside Thomas Jones, Lewis was the fifth pick overall in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.[3] 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).

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.[4] 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,[5] 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[6] but that changed on March 7, 2007, when Lewis signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns.

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Cleveland BrownsEdit

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.[7] Late in the 2009 season, Lewis was placed on injured reserve, ending his season. On February 17, 2010, the Browns released Lewis.

Career statisticsEdit

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

Personal lifeEdit

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

On October 31, 2011, Regions Bank filed suit against Lewis over an unpaid $660,000 loan.[11]


External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Priest Holmes
Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Peyton Manning
Preceded by
Corey Dillon
NFL single-game rushing record
September 14, 2003 – November 4, 2007
Succeeded by
Adrian Peterson
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Errict Rhett
Baltimore Ravens Starting Running Back
2000 2006
Succeeded by
Willis McGahee
Preceded by
Reuben Droughns
Cleveland Browns Starting Running Back
2007 2009
Succeeded by
Peyton Hillis
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